New Rape Law in Illinois: No means No, even after sex has started.

A new law - or, more accurately, a new addedum to an old law – in Illinois declares:

(c) A person who initially consents to sexual
penetration or sexual conduct is not deemed to have consented
to any sexual penetration or sexual conduct that occurs after
he or she withdraws consent during the course of that sexual
penetration or sexual conduct.

(Here’s a Foxnews article on the law, which only gets one or two things wrong that I noticed, so that’s good for them).

To me, this seems like a pretty obvious thing: Consent, once given, is not forever. If I’m having sex with John Ashcroft, it doesn’t matter how much Ashcroft begged me to screw him, or how much he’s been enjoying it up to this moment; once Ashcroft says “stop, Amp, you’re just too much man for me,” it’s my responsibility to stop. Sure, it might take me a few seconds to absorb what Ashy’s telling me and say “are you serious?”; but once I absorb it, if I keep on fuckin’ despite Ashcroft’s objections, that’s rape.

Who could disagree with that?

It turns out a lot of people on the right of the blogoverse, that’s who.

I think the objections, however, are weak at best. For instance, Susanna of Cut on the bias (whose blog was the first to cover this story, that I saw) writes:

While I recognize the intent of the law, it just is unrealistic. You wait. There’s going to be a case where he’s almost done, she’s been willing up to that point, she (for whatever reason) says “NO, STOP!”, he doesn’t, and she says he raped her. It seems to me that men are totally screwed by this law.

But not all men are “screwed” (Susanna’s pun was intentional, she wants us to know) – only those who would refuse to stop having sex just because they don’t have consent. That is, the rapists. And who cares if rapists are screwed?

Lurking behind Susanna’s comment is a belief – shared by many in our culture – that us men are brainless animals, whose tiny little brains are unable to overpower our almighty dicks. But I think that’s a myth. Yes, in the heat of going bump in the night, many of us (male or female) are slower thinkers than we are normally; it might take a few moments to absorb that our partner has just cried out “get off me please!” But once we’ve reached that point, every man is perfectly capable of stopping if he really wants to. To say that we can’t expect men to stop once consent is withdrawn is an insult to men.

Allison of Ain’t that a kick in the head? writes:

Is this new law really necessary? Women, do you feel your decisions can be trusted? Do you think things through before doing them? Guys, would you stop if a woman asked you to, or do you need a law to help you control yourself and respect us?

Allison also complained that “you can’t legislate morality.” Why not? Murder laws are legislating morality. So are rape laws, for that matter.

Which is a major reason I object to Allison’s logic – if you accept her premises, not just this rape law but all rape laws are wrong and should be done away with.

The answer to Allison’s question is, yes, this law is necessary – in response to the minority of guys who do rape women, and to help protect unlucky women who date those guys. Just like all the other rape laws are necessary, for the exact same reason.

The existence of laws against rape is no more of an insult to non-rapist men (and non-rapist women, for that matter) than laws against car theft are an insult to those of us who buy our cars legally.

Dale at The Review has an interesting proposition:

Any takers on a bet that, within a decade, it will become law in the United States that if a woman gives consent to sex, then regrets it within the next 24 hours, the man can be charged with rape?

I’ll take that bet, Dale. Shall we say $1000?

Dale also clearly thinks that once having consented, no woman can be raped:

This law trivializes rape, under the guise of protecting women. It makes any unwanted sex into rape, even sex to which the woman initially consented. This is, I think, a vile insult to women who were actually raped by force.

But why should initial consent mean that one has lost the right to change one’s mind?

In the California case that inspired the Illinois law, the girl was involved in some semi-consensual petting which she said she enjoyed, but during the sex act itself physically struggled, attempted to push her rapist off, and attempted to talk him out of continuing. In other words, she was “actually raped by force” – just like the imaginary women Dale supposes will be insulted by her example.

Dale’s black-and-white construction of sexuality is too simplistic for the real world. Just because a woman (or man) initially consents to sex doesn’t mean that she can’t change her mind; or that, once having changed her mind, she can’t be forced.

Dale also complains about feminists who yammer on about “delicate flower of femininity” – without, of course, linking to an actual feminist saying anything of the sort. (It must be fun to be a right-winger – if you want to make a charge against feminists, you don’t have to actually provide any evidence; you just make up whatever lie you like, as Dale did, and the other right-wingers will take your word for it.) He then goes on to say:

Equally interesting, one notes that this law requires women to take no responsibility for their own initial decision to consent to have sex, if upon reflection, they find that decision to have been inappropriate.

Of course, Dale’s logic here is nonsense. Once a woman initially consents to have sex, if a woman changes her mind that’s “taking no responsibility”? How about a women who allows a date to buy her dinner and then consents to make out with him – is she taking no responsibility, too, if she chooses not to have sex with him, or objects if he forces the issue?

In fact, all the law requires is that men and women take responsibility for their own actions. If your partner (whatever their sex) asks you to stop, you stop. If you choose to “persist in nonconsensual intercourse,” then you’re breaking the law and you can be held responsible in court.

And that, really, is what Dale and too many of his fellow-travelers are objecting to here – the idea that men who freely choose to continue after being told to stop might be held responsible for their own actions. The horror! The horror!

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62 Responses to New Rape Law in Illinois: No means No, even after sex has started.

  1. 1
    Raznor says:

    Good post Amp, although now I have the image of a naked John Ashcroft in my head. Argh.

    One thing too that these critics seem to miss is that if a woman decides the next day that having had sex the previous day was a mistake then that’s not rape under this law, nor any other law.

  2. 2
    bean says:

    Reading this post, I am reminded of one chapter in the book Just Sex: Students Rewrite the Rules on Sex, Violence, Activism, and Equality edited by Jodi Gold and Susan Villari (if you haven’t read this book, I strongly recommend it). The particular chapter it reminds me of was written by Stephen Montagna and titled Men-Only Spaces As Effective Sites for Education in which he writes about the positive aspects of groups like Men Stopping Rape:

    Thus, we arrive back at my little cliff-hanger. It was in such a men-only meeting, my third MSR meeting, in fact, in which a conversation took place that changed my life. In a discussion being led by Michael, one of MSR’s founders, we came upon the topic of consent. In response to a question Michael was tossing around the circle of six men, I said, “Yes, of course you ask a woman the woman you are with — up to a point.” Michael encouraged me to go further with my comment: What was that “point”? I launched into a detailed explanation of “fail-safe” — the point at which a man is so committed to orgasm that, like our B-52 bombers (notice the military allusions in our sexual discourse), he cannot be called back to base. In other words, I reiterated, “I reach that certain point at which I cannot stop.”

    Michael leaned back in his chair and nodded with a skeptical squint in his eyes. After a moment he offered: “Let’s play a little game…it’s just an excercise, just to think about. You’ve gone on a date with a woman. You’ve talked and asked questions, you’ve gone back to your place, and you’ve both consented to having sex. Along the way you’re asking and checking in and everything is fine; you start having intercourse, you’re inside her, and evertything feels great. The woman suddenly says, ‘Stephen, wait…I’m not feeling well, I don’t know, maybe something I ate…Could we just hold up for a second?’ Does she have the right?”

    With that last question he leaned forward in his chair with a penetrating, inviting expression on his face; the inference was that it was a question to be answered not out loud, but in my own heart. My brain raced; the only possible answer to that question kept bumping into the brick wall of my social programming — “No…no she can’t…how can she…,” or even better, “How dare she?” The feeling was one of being cheated, having my power taken away; and yet my conscience could not accept any other answer but yes. To answer any other way is to put that woman in a category one step removed from human being.

    None of the other men in the circle reacted with anger toward me; instead they sat silently nodding. The profound quality of that moment sticks with me to this day. To move beyond the superficial “We shouldn’t rape, I know it’s bad” to recognizing that what perpetuates a culture of rape is the inability of society to grant a woman the most fundamental of human rights; sovereignty over her own person.

  3. 3
    Trish Wilson says:

    “If I was having sex with John Ashcroft…”

    Eeeew, the creme in my coffee just curdled!

  4. 4
    John Isbell says:

    OK, there’s John Ashcroft naked. It seems the best way to make the point.
    I’m looking for instances in which we give consent to something and are thereby obligated to stick to it throughout. I guess things like boat trips, where they can’t really stop halfway. Even on plane flights I think I’ve heard of someone having a panic attack and the plane landing early. As a non-lawyer, I’d have to say that saying “OK” or “Yes” to initiate sex is in no way an oral contract. For one thing, both parties would be bound to continue to the end, and as suggested in the other thread, you’d hear of women suing the guy for not honoring the contract. I think that right-wingers have a choice; either they argue the contract theory seriously (good luck), or they admit the central conservative tenet that individuals have control over their own choices. I can’t see any conceivable basis other than contract theory to say that either partner has abdicated their right to stop whenever they want.
    The claim that a man physically cannot stop is gibberish. Who says he has to be inside someone to orgasm.

  5. 5
    Jo says:

    Thanks for the great post! I got involved in this debate elsewhere. *whew* it’s tiring.

  6. 6
    Allison says:

    First- I aknowledged at Susan’s that the articles I read left out a crucial detail or two. I was operating on a different story. However, my opinion dosen’t change.

    In this case, I don’t think the initial consent was much of a deal. She said no several times, before and during to both guys and they continued anyway. I think this is already covered by a crime we call RAPE.

    This is a totally different story than failing to stop ‘immediately’ once consent is withdrawn.
    And, no, I don’t think men are mindless beasts that can’t be expected to stop. I just think this is an example of a law that fails to address the case it was written for.

    Of course I agree that a woman should have control over her body at all times, and that men should be held responsible if they don’t respect that. I just think that this is a law that is open to alot of interpretation and emotion and isn’t going to carry much evidence and is a dangerous precedent for people taking out personal arguments in court.

    Ok, so rape is a difficult crime to prove. But it’s alot easier to prove than how many seconds some guy took to stop. It’s so easy to charge someone. All a person has to do is say so.

    Let’s just put it like this- I’d hate to be a man standing accused of this particular crime, and try to find compelling evidence to defend myself. What would I need for that? A signed contract and a stop watch?

  7. 7
    Lorenzo says:

    What if a man with a black eye who doesn’t like another man he says charges him with assault? Assume there are no witnesses? Its he said he said, yet I don’t here people constantly harping about the abuse of assault laws.

  8. 8
    Coalition of the Witty says:

    I’m not sure where you are coming from, Allison. The text of the new addendum is pretty specific:

    “(c) A person who initially consents to sexual penetration or sexual conduct is not deemed to have consented to any sexual penetration or sexual conduct that occurs after he or she withdraws consent during the course of that sexual penetration or sexual conduct.”

    It says that once consent is withdrawn then consent stops. Consent has to actively be withdrawn. And once the no is uttered how can any person make the claim that they only took a couple more strokes before they stopped and expect that to be any kind of excuse for ignoring the withdrawal of consent?

    Rather than being open to a lot of interpretation this addendum is very concrete in what it means. It seems to me that you are trying to inject room for interpretation where it doesn’t exist.

  9. 9
    Trish Wilson says:

    John Isbell: “As a non-lawyer, I’d have to say that saying “OK” or “Yes” to initiate sex is in no way an oral contract.”

    I must be punchy today. I’m seeing puns everywhere. :)

    “For one thing, both parties would be bound to continue to the end, and as suggested in the other thread, you’d hear of women suing the guy for not honoring the contract.”

    I saw that mentioned too, and I don’t think it’s the flip side of withdrawing consent. I don’t think contract theory holds water in this case. As you said, “good luck” arguing that one.

  10. 10
    Allison says:

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Those were good arguments from everyone, but political discussions never seem to change anyone’s mind.

  11. 11
    Coalition of the Witty says:

    Allison replied:

    “I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Those were good arguments from everyone, but political discussions never seem to change anyone’s mind.”

    I don’t mean to seem snipey but that’s a bit of a cop-out.

  12. 12
    Allison says:

    Yeah, ok, how about this: it’s easy for a woman to claim rape. This law makes it even easier. It dosen’t require a shred of evidence, either physical, or the kind arrived at by common sense- such as a person’s promiscuity or past relationship with the accused.

    I’m not saying I want to go back to the days of a woman’s sexual history being dragged through the mud, I’m just saying that actions (such as poor judgement) have consequences! Now we’ve left those nasty days of putting the victim on trial and swung on over to the polar opposite of the spectrum. Now an accuser/victim dosen’t need any proof of her accusations beyond saying it’s so, and in fact, dosen’t even have to give her name or show her face to accuse someone of a serious crime! Well, that’s a little abusive if you ask me. You want to hold these bad guys accountable, and that’s great, but accountability goes both ways.

    This particulary shade of the law angers me because it invites cases where the accusor can bring someone to court with absolutely no proof whatsoever and force him to defend himself, to the tune of thousands of dollars in legal fees, damaged reputation, lost wages, mental anguish, and plenty of other issues, I’m sure. Ok, maybe he did it. But maybe he didn’t! How do you propose to tell?

    Now, let’s be honest, here. I know women who can be quite vindictive when they don’t get their way from men. This law certainly gives them a weapon, dosen’t it? How exactly would a guy defend himself from a case like this? How would you like to take a month off from your paying job to sit on a jury and debate a case where he says 10 seconds and she says 15? And they’ve been together for 6 months? You might say a case like that wouldn’t get through, but tell me that’s the most ridiculous case you’ve read about in the news going to court. I’ve heard several to rival it.

    And you’re really going to hate this one.

    Assuming most of these cases are going to be ones in which she consented to sleep with the guy, and dosen’t even argue the fact. (Despite his beng a total stranger, a married celebrity, or what-have-you). How much damage do you think she can claim over an extra 5 minutes?

    I’m not saying it’s ok to ignore a person’s request to stop. I’m just saying that I consider this an issue that is not well-resolved by a justice system that has trouble prosecuting a “real” rape.

    That’s about as blunt as I can get. Did I change your mind?

  13. 13
    Jake Squid says:

    Allison wrote: “Now an accuser/victim dosen’t need any proof of her accusations beyond saying it’s so, and in fact, dosen’t even have to give her name or show her face to accuse someone of a serious crime!”

    I don’t get this. So you’re saying “she” can give an anonymous tip to police and “he” will be prosecuted? How could that work? No witness, no case. Or do I misunderstand you?

    The rest of your complaint I can understand, even if I don’t find it compelling. I’d rather you stick to the problems with this law in practice rather than some misogynist line like, “Now, let’s be honest, here. I know women who can be quite vindictive when they don’t get their way from men.” That sort of thing detracts from your credibility.

    An argument about how such a case might be prosecuted/defended is a lot more supportive of your case (if well reasoned.)

    Writing things like: “How much damage do you think she can claim over an extra 5 minutes?”
    just shows your ignorance of the law. Isn’t this a CRIMINAL law? If so, “she” can’t claim any damage (if, as I believe, you are referring to damages asked for in a CIVIL lawsuit). But I could have misunderstood you there.

    I can see an argument that the law is not defined well enough if a case can hinge on 10 seconds vs 15 seconds. I clearly don’t know enough about it. But it seems as if you don’t either.

  14. 14
    Elayne Riggs says:

    “It makes any unwanted sex into rape…” Did I miss something? Isn’t “unwanted sex”, like, the definition of rape?

  15. 15
    Byna says:

    And don’t forget about the chilling effect.

    Every man in Illinois now has to keep their attention on what she is saying and doing, and analyzing it for withdrawal of consent. And he needs to be prepeared, at any given thrust, to stop and withdraw. How much fun do you think you’d have inthat situation? No more times that you get to be “lost in the moment” or in the “heat of passion” because if you mess up, and thrust one too many times after she says “I’ve got to go home” then you just might be facing 5 to 10 in jail with Bubba.

    There is a cummulative chilling effect from laws and rules like this. Our society is just starting to realize this, and starting to wonder if the costs of these laws are worth the benefits.

  16. 16
    bean says:

    What I find chilling is that people believe in the bullshit “passion of the moment” bullshit that is fed to us, rather than real sex — which involves compassion and respect as much as it does passion. Sex is about two people — not one (that would be masturbation). Anyone who forgets that the other person is an equal participant in the act of sex is simply not mature enough to be having sex.

    And anyone who is reducing this law to “an extra thrust” or an “extra 5 seconds” obviously does not understand this law and should educate themselves a bit more before stating opinions.

  17. 17
    Tishie says:

    I thought that “passion of the moment” post was sarcastic at first. I mean, “Every man in Illinois now has to keep their attention on what she is saying and doing, and analyzing it for withdrawal of consent. And he needs to be prepeared, at any given thrust, to stop and withdraw.” I thought that was great satire, as in: ‘Haw haw! What guy wants to know what she’s saying or doing? He’s too busy imagining she’s someone else to worry about what she wants!’ Right? But the post is serious.

    How sad. Men SHOULD be paying attention to the human beings they are having sex with! They SHOULD be ready to withdraw at any indication that she doesn’t want a dick in her anymore. What the hell is wrong with that?

  18. 18
    Tishie says:

    And another thing. would anyone have any problems with this law if they imagined some straight guy trying anal sex out of curiosity? What if he said stop and the man wouldn’t get his dick out of his ass? Oh then that would be horrible, wouldn’t it? A man shouldn’t be subject to a dick in his ass if he doesn’t want it! But a woman, jesus, doesn’t she have any sympathy for the poor guy who just wants to be lost in the ecstasy of the moment? What a bitch!

  19. 19
    Kerim Friedman says:

    Most of the objections to this law seem rather bogus. I don’t see how you can define rape except as unconsensual sex, and there is no reason to believe that consent, once given, can’t be revoked. Moreover, sex doesn’t always consist of two people having vaginal intercourse the entire time. A woman may have consented to vaginal intercourse and the man might suddenly wish to do something that she doesn’t like. There is no reason to believe that consent for the one implied consent for the other.

    But there is a serious issue with the ability to prosecute people for such a rape. Usually the presence of blood or semen in the vagina is enough to prove a rape – but if consent was initially given, then what proof is there that sex continued after it was revoked? In the case that provided the motivation for this law, it took place at a party, so presumably there were witnesses. Otherwise it seems quite impossible to prosecute. Somehow I don’t think we are going to see a lot of cases following from this law.

  20. 20
    Hestia says:

    Of course there are going to be “ridiculous” accusations. It happens without this law, and I’m not convinced the number (as a percentage of all rape cases) is going to increase. Anyhow, that’s not a good enough reason to dismiss the addendum.

    It’s not like it gives women carte blanche to throw rape accusations around as if they were small talk, nor is it a guarantee. There are still juries involved, juries that make decisions based on all the facts, not just one small section of a law.

    A good reason to keep the addendum is that many rapes aren’t reported or convicted because some women and juries believe that if the woman said “yes” to begin with, she can’t change her mind. I’m concerned about these cases slipping through the cracks.

    And I’m offended by the implication that all women will lie or cheat their way to the bank, and there’s no way to argue against the law without relying on this generalization.

    PPS. I’d like to second Tishie’s comment:

    “Men SHOULD be paying attention to the human beings they are having sex with! They SHOULD be ready to withdraw at any indication that she doesn’t want a dick in her anymore. What the hell is wrong with that?”

  21. 21
    Tom Maguire says:

    I am actually quite intirgued by the breadth of agreement here:

    From Susanna: “There’s going to be a case where he’s almost done…”

    Amp: “it might take a few moments to absorb that our partner has just cried out “get off me please!”

    Coalition of the Witty (7:53 AM): once the no is uttered how can any person make the claim that they only took a couple more strokes before they stopped and expect that to be any kind of excuse for ignoring the withdrawal of consent?

    Interestingly, the Coalition of the Witty are droll enough to offer the text of the law that their own example so pointedly ignores:

    “(c) A person who initially consents to sexual penetration or sexual conduct is not deemed to have consented to any sexual penetration or sexual conduct that occurs after he or she withdraws consent during the course of that sexual penetration or sexual conduct.”

    Does anyone see some qualification to “after he or she withdraws consent”? I don’t. No mention of “a few strokes”, a “few moments”, or any time at all.

    So, it appears that Susanna, Amp, and a broad coalition are in agreement, and evidently in support of at least some types of rape, as defined by this statute. Surprising.

    On a seeminlgly related note, I thought coitus-interruptus was a notoriously ineffective form of birth control, although for are a number of reasons, only one of which might be relevant.

    My sense of the problem we are having is that we have the same word, “rape” to describe both the scenario where a man leaps out of the bushes with a knife and forces himself onto a woman, and where a man climaxes two seconds after his partner changes her mind and say no. I suspect society needs to become much more sensitized before they are able to view these two situations as equally repugnant.

    And yes, the California case was clearly rape, and I don’t know why the courts took so long to resolve it.

  22. 22
    Tom Maguire says:

    Oops. Speaking of behalf of The Coalition of Bad Readers, it seems clear to me that I took the Coalition of the Witty’s point and got it completely backwards. And as I re-read it, I can hardly figure how I could have gotten it wrong – it seems as clear to me now as it did then, yet it clearly means the opposite of my first take.

    Sorry about that.

    Leaving Susanna and Amp in agreement that a bit of a time lag may occur, and the Coalition insisting (correctly, in my now very humble opinion) that that is rape.

  23. 23
    Ampersand says:

    Does anyone see some qualification to “after he or she withdraws consent”? I don’t.

    I did – but then, it’s necessary to have read the whole law, not just the snippet we’ve been discussing.

    In Illinois (ignoring cases where “did she consent?” isn’t an issue, such as statuatory rape or an unconscious victim) it’s not legally rape (or, to use the correct terminology, “sexual assault”) unless there’s force or a threat of force. This new law doens’t change that; even under this revision, prosecutors still need to prove use of threats or overcoming force.

    (d)”Force or threat of force” means the use of force or violence, or the threat of force or violence, including but not limited to the following situations:

    (1) when the accused threatens to use force or violence on the victim or on any other person, and the victim under the circumstances reasonably believed that the accused had the ability to execute that threat; or

    (2) when the accused has overcome the victim by use of superior strength or size, physical restraint or physical confinement.

    It’s an act of incredible paranoia to imagine that any jury or judge will interpret “two extra strokes” or ten seconds of incomprehension as “overcoming the victim by use of superior strength or size, physical restraint or physical confinement.”

    The kind of thing Tom and others are worried about – that this law will lead to men being convicted merely for not withdrawing “instantly” (to use a word that you folks have used constantly, even though it’s not in the law in question) – is silly. Taking a few moments to withdraw after being asked to stop doesn’t provide the element of force or threat; and without force or threat, it’s not rape.

  24. 24
    Walt Pohl says:

    Ampersand: I read Tom as saying that your two-stroke situation really is rape. Tom?

  25. 25
    Tom Maguire says:

    Fascinating. I have never grappled with Amp without being reminded, often quite quickly, that he almost invariably cheats in these discussions by relying on superior facts, research, logic, and manners.

    He is also probably a faster typer, but I have one thing he doesn’t – an ability to shift positions so elusively that no one, especially myself, can imagine what point I am defending.

    So, no, I didn’t, and don’t, think Amp is coming out in support of rape. I think he is agreeing with Susanna (my original blog crush, BTW) that timing is everything. The point I, and others, are then making is that this is a concept of rape that may not find a lot of public support.

    Now, Amp thinks we are being silly. More good manners – I lean towards “ignorant and hyperbolic”, myself.

    The problem most of us were having is that the AP story picked up by Fox made no mention of the “force or threat of force” element. Consequently, the critics were applying this to extreme date-rape scenarios, and concluding that the potential consequences were ludicrous.

    And, in my own defense, when Amp said “Here’s a Foxnews article on the law, which only gets one or two things wrong that I noticed, so that’s good for them), I didn’t realize that one of the things that was wrong was the first sentence, which read:

    A new rape law in Illinois attempts to clarify the issue of consent by emphasizing that people can change their mind while having sex.

    A fairly sensational characterization of the addendum, one might think.

    In fact, even this, from the original post, is not crystal clear:

    “…if I keep on fuckin’ despite Ashcroft’s objections, that’s rape.

    Well, if Amp overcomes Big John’s objections with force or the threat of force, in this context, yes, its rape. If he relies on superior verbal skills while picking up the pace a bit, it may not be clearly rape. Or, put another way, if Ashcroft continues to argue that it is quittin’ time, but does not physically resist, so that Amp is not using any particular force or threat thereof to continue the initial agenda, has consent (if nothing else) truly been withdrawn, and is the force element present? Puzzling.

    Anyway, these subtleties eluded me. I sort of took from the commentary and the AP story that absurd date rape scenarios were “in play”.

    I also have the strong impression that some commenters here were not highlighting the force element, so I may not have been the only one that missed it.

    For example, Allison (3:13 PM) was making just that point, about absurd prosecutions, and people were pouncing on her, insisting on a very strict definition of rape that seems to go way beyond the clarifications Amp has provided.

    I think a stronger rebuttal to all of the critics would be the clarification Amp has dropped on us here. Just my opinion, of course.

  26. 26
    bean says:

    FTR, I think it should be made clear that “force or threat of force” may not always mean what people think it means. There are many “date rape” scenarios that don’t involve “force or threat of force” as many laypeople may perceive it, and yet, it’s still rape. Force or threat of force is not simply physical violence such as assault or use of a weapon. Forcing the penis into the vagina, for instance, is force — regardless of whether there had been and physical violence or weapons used or threatened. Once a woman says no, if a man continues, that is rape. By definition, and by law, this is rape.

  27. 27
    Demosthenes says:

    Bean’s comment would seem to confirm Tom’s point; if one describes sex itself as force (presumably, this would apply in both directions; a man can withdraw consent as well, can he not?) then section (d) is functionally irrelevant, at least in the case of penetrative sex.

    That parenthetical point, by the by, is something that is seemingly consistently missed here. As a man can say “I don’t wanna have sex anymore” as easily as a woman can, men can as easily prosecute for rape in that situation as women can, absent the force element. To say that the absence of this law turns women into second class citizens or maintains that men are unable to control themselves misses this point; it turns both women and men into both of these things.

  28. 28
    Jeff Smirh says:

    From my blog to your blog……

    Monday, August 04, 2003

    NEW DEFINITION OF RAPE

    In Ottumwa, Iowa, “It is unlawful for any male person, within the corporate limits of the city, to wink at any female person with whom he is unacquainted.”

    In Zion, Ill., it is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals kept as pets.

    In Baltimore, it’s illegal to throw bales of hay from a second-story window within the city limits. It’s also illegal to take a lion to the movies.

    In Oxford, Ohio, it’s illegal for a woman to strip off her clothing while standing in front of a man’s picture.

    These are just a handful of at least dozens, probably hundreds and maybe even thousands of nutty laws still on the books in towns, counties and states around the country.

    And now we have a new one to add to the list, a new definition of rape which is spreading from state to state.

    This is the law that says if two people are engaging in consensual sex and one wants to stop and says so, and the other party doesn’t stop, that sexual encounter that started out being consensual, can suddenly be considered to be an act of rape. It’s being called the “no means no” law.

    Rape is a horrible crime and proven rapists should be subjected to the most severe penalties that the law provides.

    But mutually desired sexual encounters turning into rape because one party suddenly says no?

    Consider for a moment under what circumstances consensual sex takes place.

    Between married couples of course.

    Between unmarried couples who live together and for whom sex with each other on a regular basis is a part of their life style.

    And couples who don’t live together but date regularly and have an intimate relationship.

    It’s possible that under any of these circumstances, there could be a serious falling out and one partner could attempt to forcibly engage in a sex act with the other as an expression of their anger. Or it could happen because one partner was drunk or high on drugs and didn’t care what the other partner wanted or didn’t want. But that would be rape from the get go – not a consensual act that turns into this new definition of rape.

    So when is it likely to occur and why am I adding it to the list of silly laws?

    I think it would come into play mostly in a situation where two people come together who are not married or living together or in an ongoing intimate relationship that includes regular sex.

    It would be in a situation where strong sexual feelings are aroused in both parties, maybe for the first time, but maybe even with people who have had a previous sexual encounter.

    It would be in a situation where hormones are raging, where physical contact between the two individuals is becoming increasingly intimate, where clothing is being removed and where both individuals are showing every sign of wanting to proceed to one or more sexual acts.

    It is after the mutually agreed and desired sex act is actually under way that the problem arises – and for the sake of simplicity let us assume that we are talking only about coitus. And let’s also assume that it would only be the female partner who would bring an accusation of rape.

    If everything up to the moment where she first says stop, or no or whatever other word is meant to be a sudden withdrawal of consent, has indeed been completely consensual, the male is placed in a very difficult position.

    His hormones are raging. He’s in the grip of passion. He may be close to ejaculation. He has to listen to and interpret the words that are being used. He has to be able to come to an instant understanding that the consensual sex act that has total control of his emotions and his senses has suddenly become non-consensual.

    If he doesn’t immediately stop, is it then rape or just an out of control, passionate aggressive conclusion to a consensual sex act? Or does a time factor come into play? Is it rape if the male takes a few seconds to cease and desist? Has it become rape if he takes 3O seconds to conclude that the female really means it?

    The opportunity for harmful mischief is written all over this law.

    Men are less in control of their hormonal emotions than are women and could easily become victims of the kind of women who is sometimes referred to as a “teaser.” Actually, it’s a two word phrase that is usually used to describe this type of woman but I’ve left one word off in deference to younger and more sensitive visitors to this page.

    Rape is an act of violence – not sex.

    No man should be accused of rape because he doesn’t immediately stop engaging in sex with his willing partner because she says she wants to stop. Her recourse should be to tell him she wants nothing more to do with him or to stop having any kind of consensual sex with him, not try to put him in jail.

    You can’t call off a suicide because you change your mind half way down from jumping out of a twelfth floor window. And you can’t cry rape after you willingly accept a male penis into your vagina.

    These new rape laws are silly and should be taken off the books.

  29. 29
    Big Tex says:

    In related news, sales of ball gags have apparently skyrocketed in Illinois and California.

  30. 30
    Jake Squid says:

    Jeff Smirh writes: “Men are less in control of their hormonal emotions than are women…”

    Can you refer me to any study that agrees with this conclusion?

  31. 31
    bean says:

    What are some scenarios in which consensual sex could suddenly become unwanted by one party? Are people really unable to figure this out?

    Let’s see — well, I posted one in that quote from the book above. One partner suddenly feels sick. Should she be forced to endure the act of sexual penetration during that?

    Or, what if it hurts? It’s not something that’s predictable, and it could be something that never happened before, and yet, there it is, it’s painful.

    Or, what if during the act of sexual intercourse, one partner decides to try something new — a new position, or something else. Consent was given for sexual intercourse — but not anything and everything that one person wants to do.

    Can anyone really state that the “right” to have sex supercedes the “right” for someone else to do so only when comfortable? Can anyone say that if they were having sex with a partner they actually cared about that they would willingly continue to have sex even though the other person was hurting or sick? If you could, then you obviously don’t really care about the person you are having sex with — and you sure as hell don’t believe that they are a human being worthy of compassion — and you sure as hell should be seen as a rapist.

    And buying into the myth that men can’t control their hormones is bullshit. If that’s true, then all men should be locked up. Fuck letting them free to wander the world hurting women — lock them up, remove those harmful, uncontrollable hormones!! Sheesh!

    And, I said it before, and I’ll say it again: And anyone who is reducing this law to “an extra thrust” or an “extra 5 seconds” obviously does not understand this law and should educate themselves a bit more before stating opinions.

  32. 32
    Kevin Moore says:

    The Illinois law is no big problem if you’re paying attention to your sexual partner’s needs and feelings in the first place. Not to divulge too much information, but I pay pretty close attention to my wife when we’re having sex. Why? Cuz I want her to feel goooooood. Not baaaaaaad. If she starts saying “ow”, that is baaaaaaad. So I stop and ask, “What’s wrong?” Then she tells me. We readjust or adjourn for the night. (Live to fuck another day, so to speak.) It’s called communication. Mutual respect. Love.

    It’s not rocket science. The nice thing about the law is that it reflects a maturation in perspective from previous conceptions in which women were blamed for being either sluts or not proper wives for not submitting to their man’s needs. The sad thing is that this should be codified at all. But so long as people, male or female, see no problem in the contention that men can’t control their hormones and the resultant behavior (really? news to me!), such laws will remain necessary.

  33. 33
    Dan J says:

    “If everything up to the moment where she first says stop, or no or whatever other word is meant to be a sudden withdrawal of consent, has indeed been completely consensual, the male is placed in a very difficult position.”

    Not really. Either stop, or be guilty of rape. Seems like a pretty easy position to be in to me.

    “Men are less in control of their hormonal emotions than are women and could easily become victims of the kind of women who is sometimes referred to as a “teaser.”"

    No, a man cannot be the “victim” of a pricktease, but a woman can be the victim of rape. A man who finds himself confronted with a situation in which he feels he has been “teased” (boo hoo) has the option of declining to go on further dates with the woman. That way he doesn’t have to deal with the horror of having been teased, and nobody gets raped. It’s win-win! Yippee!

    “Rape is an act of violence – not sex”

    And so is continuing with intercourse after having been requested to stop–see, it’s violence and it’s rape.

    “No man should be accused of rape because he doesn’t immediately stop engaging in sex with his willing partner because she says she wants to stop. ”

    Actually, every man who doesn’t stop when she says she wants to should be accused of rape. That so many aren’t and won’t be is one of the great tragedies of our culture.

    “And you can’t cry rape after you willingly accept a male penis into your vagina.”

    But that’s the thing–you can.

    Just to make it easy for folks, let’s just say this: No one is entitled to sex, ever, for any reason. And of course when I say entitled I mean no one should be able to assume, in the abscence of explicit consent, that sex can be expected.

    All this law seems to do is to codify into law something that was already true, but that rapists could use to get themselves some sympathy. It doesn’t hurt non-rapists.

    And it could potentially do one really wonderful thing for rape victims: It could obliterate the “past sexual history of the victim” defense. Anyone who knows anything will tell you that a victim’s sexual history, even with the accused, is irrelevant to a rape case, which tends to be rooted in a specific incident. But it has been used to successfully defend rapists. However, by instituting this new law, the legislature is effectively saying that under no circumstances can a man reasonably expect sex without expicit consent. I don’t know much about law, but I know what I like!

  34. 34
    Dan J says:

    “However, by instituting this new law, the legislature is effectively saying that under no circumstances can a man reasonably expect sex without expicit consent.”

    Damn! got all the way to the bottom without a typo!

  35. 35
    Big Tex says:

    An analogy: You are test driving a car. While you have the car out on the road, the dealership manager calls you on your cell phone and demands that you stop driving the car immediately. Do you (a) stop the car and abandon it in the middle of the street, (b) drive the car back to the dealership, or (c) continue driving the car while you attempt to determine why the manager wants you to stop driving the car and whether or not he wants you to stop immediately or return it to the dealership before abandoning the vehicle?

    Most reasonable people would pick (c). However, under the reasoning of some of the extremists on this thread, any person who continues to drive the car against the manager’s wishes is a car thief and deserves to be imprisoned.

  36. 36
    Hestia says:

    Oh, whatever. Reasonable people would pull the car over to the side of the road and then continue the conversation with the dealer. For all they know, the car’s about to explode, and the dealer’s trying to save the driver’s life.

    It’s a stupid analogy anyhow. Cars themselves have no say in the matter. They can’t express unhappiness or discomfort or fear. And sexual partners are not a matter of personal property or business transactions.

    No “reasonable” man would continue having sex with a woman who has told him to stop while asking her, “Are you sure you want me to stop? Would you rather I keep going? Why do you want me to stop anyway?”

  37. 37
    Dan J says:

    The car analogy is useless. First off, a car and a person are very very different things. “Stop driving the car immediately” is a far more ambiguous command, given the nature of driving cars, than is the command to “stop having sex with me immediately.” Chances are that if you stop having sex with someone immediately you aren’t holding up any other penises from getting where they’re going, for one thing.

    If you’re looking for a better analogy, why not try boxing? It’s still not nearly comparable to rape, but let’s give it a try for gits and shiggles: You have agreed to participate in a boxing match with your opponent. During the course of the fight, for whatever reason, you decide that you don’t want to fight anymore, and make that clear to your opponent. If your opponent continues to hit you, he is guilty of assault. Now, since there are presumably no refs in the bedroom, the rape is still tough to prove. But at least it is legally defined as such, to clear up any ambiguities that might exist.

    Furthermore, am I such an extremist if I think that all rapists, even ones who don’t think they are rapists, should answer for it?

  38. 38
    Anonymous says:

    For all you “it’s a stupid law” folks, I have a little story.

    I was sixteen years old, and had a bit of a crush on a boy — a friend of a friend. I went to a party with one of my girlfriends, knowing he would be there. Sure enough, he was. I drank and he drank, and things heated up. Neither of us was falling-down drunk, but we shouldn’t have driven in our condition either.

    After a little making out in a corner of the party, we headed off to one of the bedrooms and locked the door for privacy. At that point, we continued the making out and it became foreplay which became consensual vaginal penetration. I was fine with that, although his penis was somewhat uncomfortably large.

    After some time of that (10 minutes, maybe?), he lifted my feet to his shoulders and continued thrusting in that manner for several strokes, then paused briefly and attempted to penetrate me anally. I told him to stop, said “please don’t.” He started to push his penis in further, and I started trying to crawl away on the bed, saying, “no, don’t, no, not there, no, no, no.” He held me down and was able to penetrate my rectum for a minute or so before my screams brought other boys at the party to the other side of the bedroom door, ready to break it down to help me.

    I never gave my consent for anal penetration. I never intended to, had never considered choosing to do such a thing, and would never have consented to that with him anyway, because of the immense girth of his penis — the largest of any male I ever had sex with.

    Yet you people are telling me that because I originally consented to vaginal penetration, what he did to me was not rape. Let someone stick a flashlight up your rectum without lubrication, the next time you are having sex with your significant other and then come back and tell me what you think. Hell, I’ll hold the flashlight.

    This isn’t always a matter of polite missionary thrusting face-to-face between adults during which the woman suddenly and out of nowhere says, “Stop. Pull out. I changed my mind.” Even so, it is her right to withdraw consent. She may have cervical lesions or endometriosis that cause pain for her, yet have been trying to please her partner and just suddenly be unable to bear the pain. There is no law of nature that says he can’t pull out and finish with a handjob from whoever is up to it.

  39. 39
    Lynn Gazis-Sax says:

    For you guys that are grumbling about prickteasers, I have this to say. I know what it’s like, from experience, to be hot for someone who seems to be hot for me, and then breaks off and won’t follow through. And I know, from experience, what it’s like to have someone much bigger than me grabbing for me when I’ve already said no three times and pushed him away, and to be scared. Guess which one’s worse? It sure as hell isn’t being teased. And this is from someone who was not actually penetrated, just forcibly groped, and I still tighten up inside, all these years later, if I’m reminded of it.

    Now, as for Demosthenes response that bean’s remark about penetration being force means that sex itself is force: Give me a break. If you thrust your way into me when I don’t want you there, well, two things are going to be true: first, it’s going to hurt like hell for me, and second, the only reason you managed to get there is because you’re bigger and stronger than me and are on top of me. Don’t try to tell me that isn’t force. Don’t try to tell me that saying it is force somehow makes consensual sex to be force. That’s just a load of crap.

    I do not get why any man would think it a horrible, onerous thing to actually, you know, pay attention to the person he’s having sex with, and, you know, stop if she’s clearly indicating she’s unhappy. I myself wouldn’t dream of doing any differently with anyone I was having sex with.

  40. 40
    Big Tex says:

    ha ha

    It’s a stupid analogy, is it? That’s always the last refuge of someone who knows they’re losing the argument. Stinks of desperation.

    I’m right and you know it, Hestia. Why not just admit it?

    You can’t be guilty of rape unless you have criminal intent. Just like you can’t be guilty of car theft unless you intended to steal a car. If you only intended to take a test drive, it ain’t theft. And folks, it ain’t rape unless the accused intended to commit a crime. Time to wake up and face reality.

  41. 41
    bean says:

    The intention to have sex without consent, or after consent has been retracted, is more than enough “intention.” Whether the man [i]thinks[/i] it’s rape or not makes no difference — therefore, the “intent to rape” is null and void in the case where the man simply refuses to acknowledge law (and the woman’s feelings).

    If you take the car for a test-drive, but don’t return it to the dealership, that’s theaft, pure and simple. If the dealer calls in the middle of the test-drive and says to stop driving, the [i]rational[/i], [i]sane[/i] thing to do is to stop driving. For a number of reasons — 1) it’s pure stupidity to continue driving while talking on a phone. 2) as someone else mentioned, the dealer may be calling to tell you there’s something wrong with the car, and if you keep driving, you could be killed. 3) if you are test-driving a car, it is not [i]your[/i] car yet. What’s so fucking hard about pulling over to the side of the road and asking, “why?” and/or “ok, what now — leave the car here? drive it back? what?”

    What’s so fucking hard about stopping sex and asking, “is there a problem? should we stop? is it just this particular position?”

    And, btw, Tex — still waiting on my apology. Still waiting for you to admit that you were either wrong or just out and out lied.

  42. 42
    Ampersand says:

    That’s always the last refuge of someone who knows they’re losing the argument.

    No, no, that’s not the last refuge.

    I’m right and you know it, Hestia. Why not just admit it?

    Now that – that’s the last refuge.

    You can’t be guilty of rape unless you have criminal intent.

    You know, I’ve linked to the relevent law several times in this blog recently. If you had read it, you would know it doesn’t say anything about criminal intent. For your interest, you might want to read this decision from the Kansas Supreme Court (I think) 20 years ago, in which they consider an argument much like yours and ruled “that rape is not a crime of specific intent.”

  43. 43
    Hestia says:

    Continue to contradict both facts and common sense and refuse to commit to any argument other than “I’m right and you’re wrong,” Big Tex. It makes your point so much stronger.

  44. 44
    flea says:

    Hi. I was wondering if those who are against this law would mind responding to Lynn Gazis-Sax’s comment here?

    “I do not get why any man would think it a horrible, onerous thing to actually, you know, pay attention to the person he’s having sex with, and, you know, stop if she’s clearly indicating she’s unhappy.”

    My experience with men has been that if they suspect I’m in pain, uncomfortable, bored, or otherwise unhappy, if I even *breathe* differently, they stop. They stop cold. I have never once had to ask any man, ever, to stop when I wanted to stop. They knew. And they stopped, with no whining or complaining or anger. All of them. Even the long term boyfriends. Even my husband. Even the couple of one night stands I’ve had. So really, what’s the problem here?

  45. 45
    PinkDreamPoppies says:

    flea,

    I suspect that many of the people who are opposed to this law are labouring under the misperception that there are a great number of women who falsely report rapes and that this law would give those wiley women an even more fail-safe way to report rapes. In reality, of course, rapes aren’t falsely reported any more often than other crimes (2% of cases) but everyone knows that women do that, so why let facts get in the way?

    Ahem. Sorry. Being snarky.

  46. 46
    Kathryn says:

    Big Tex said:

    “You can’t be guilty of rape unless you have criminal intent. Just like you can’t be guilty of car theft unless you intended to steal a car. If you only intended to take a test drive, it ain’t theft. And folks, it ain’t rape unless the accused intended to commit a crime. Time to wake up and face reality.”

    Really. So when my first husband raped me on my wedding night, it wasn’t a crime. Okay… He didn’t believe he was doing anything wrong, he was merely exercising his rights as my husband, by pinning me down and telling me I was going to have to get used to it sooner or later, even though I was crying and trying to push him off me, because I was a virgin and he was hurting me.

    Thank you so much, Big Tex, for clearing that up.

  47. 47
    Big Tex says:

    http://www.washingtondispatch.com/article_6391.shtml

    The Feminist Version of Rape
    Exclusive commentary by Cathryn Crawford
    Aug 15, 2003

    There is a movement in this country to push women towards a victim status, towards an attitude that implies that a woman is simply a passive person, someone whom men can and will always take advantage of, both in public and private life. This movement is fomented and spearheaded by the liberal feminists, who believe that men are monsters and women are powerless victims against them (a clear contradiction to true feminism).

    The symptom of this movement is that the liberal feminists have taken hold of the word rape and its connotations and associations and twisted it to mean something that it was never meant to. Rape, by definition, is anyone forcefully, through harm or threat of harm, forcing another person to have sex with them – there must be a clearly expressed lack of consent and/or coercion by force or threat of force. According to New York law, “forcible compulsion” ( i.e. rape) is defined as “to compel by either the use of physical force or a threat express or implied which places a person in fear of immediate death or physical injury to himself, herself, or another person.”

    However, this definition, which is widely mirrored in all fifty states, has been watered down. According to Dr. Andrea Parrot, a psychiatry professor at Cornell University who specializes in studying date rape, “Any sexual intercourse without mutual desire is a form of rape. Anyone who is psychologically or physically pressured into sexual contact is as much a victim of rape as the person who is attacked on the streets.”

    Now university counselors can convince twenty year old girls that since their boyfriend whined until they finally had sex with them, they’ve been raped. After all, under Dr. Parrot’s definition, that is classified as psychological pressure.

    In many studies performed, especially those that focused on date rape or acquaintance rape, the women who were interviewed said that they did not realize that they had been raped until the interviewer described rape scenarios involving psychological pressure. These women did not feel violated, and the counselors and interviewers have to convince them that they have, indeed, been raped.

    For example, the most comprehensive and most widely stated study for on-campus sex crimes is Mary Koss’s Ms. Campus Project on Sexual Assault. It was conducted through surveys, and it speculates that 1 in 4 women have been sexually assaulted. However – Koss obtained her data concerning the “incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression” with a 10-item survey featuring questions such as, “Have you given in to sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because you were overwhelmed by a man’s continual arguments and pressure?” and “Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force to make you?”. Questions 9 and 10 (which also refer to the use of force or threats of violence) seem to fit the conventional picture of rape, but consider question 8: “Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?” According to psychiatry, this question would be “double-barreled”: What, exactly, is it asking? The meaning could change simply by what questions were asked leading up to this specific one. Does this mean that after a man buys you a drink and then you have sex with him, he has raped you? Did the girl express that she “didn’t want to,” or did the “didn’t want to” feelings come after the fact?

    There has to be a clear boundary between what is and isn’t rape. Rape is not confusion or negative feelings after sex. Rape is not feeling that you don’t want to have sex, but giving in to please your boyfriend. That simply isn’t rape. Rape is when you are forced to have sex with someone, against your will, and when you clearly express that you are not complying with the situation.

    This new way of defining rape, the feminist version of rape, gives women a way to simply be a passive victim, externalizing any feelings of guilt and shame about the sexual encounter and forcing responsibility onto the other person involved. Sadly, because of this attitude, rape is becoming just another everyday occurrence, something that some girls say with a shrug, as though it’s a normal part of life and is no big deal. Date rape has become the new campus hot button, and it has become so normal that girls discuss it as though it’s a trivial, almost normal thing to experience.

    This attitude not only cheapens the value and independence of women, it sets women up for failure, and teaches them that they are victims of predatory men. More importantly, it trivializes sexual violence by making it something that is no longer horrible, but something that is typical and representative of the whole of society. It has become an expectation, and when true sexual trauma occurs, it gets swept away in the tide of indifference that this attitude has fostered.

    Cathryn Crawford is student from Texas. She can be reached at feedback@washingtondispatch.com

  48. 48
    bean says:

    Oh, goody, another article by some idiot who doesn’t know shit about feminism trying to pretend that she does. I mean, my god, she doesn’t even know the difference between liberal and radical feminism.

  49. 49
    flea says:

    “I do not get why any man would think it a horrible, onerous thing to actually, you know, pay attention to the person he’s having sex with, and, you know, stop if she’s clearly indicating she’s unhappy.”

    When you get a moment, Big Tex, maybe you could comment on this?

  50. 50
    Big Tex says:

    Hey there flea:

    I think in an ideal world all men would be Sensitive New Age Males who would be perfectly attuned to their partners’ needs and respond accordingly, but that doesn’t mean I support throwing anybody who isn’t a Sensitive New Age Male in prison.

  51. 51
    Coalition of the Fair and Balanced says:

    “I think in an ideal world all men would be Sensitive New Age Males who would be perfectly attuned to their partners’ needs and respond accordingly, but that doesn’t mean I support throwing anybody who isn’t a Sensitive New Age Male in prison.”

    It’s a good thing that nobody is advocating that.

    Of course, being aware of the person you are having sex with indicates not a Sensitive New Age Male but a human being in general.

  52. 52
    beckie says:

    i have an friend who says she was raped when she was five. she said she got a restraining order aginst the guy but he just stalked her. she still has the order, but is there anyway to get this guy in jail and for him to leave her alone? (she says she has stalkers to. can she make them leave her alone to?) i live in illinois. do you know anyone who can take he case and help her win?

    beckie
    p.s-please write back asap

  53. 53
    bean says:

    Beckie, I have a few questions.

    1) You say she was raped at 5. How old is she now? [i]Occassionally[/i] some states will allow the statute of limitations to start at the age of majority — but if she got a restraining order at the time, I don’t even think that would be allowable. So, more than likely, the statute of limitations has expired (it’s usually 5 years for rape, in most states).

    2) How did she get a restraining order at the age of 5?

    3) Has this restraining order really been renewed for that long of a period? That’s very unusual.

    In the end, based only on what you have said here, I’d say it’s highly unlikely that there is any way to put her rapist in jail. As for stalkers, she should document every instance of stalking behavior (save any letters, emails, or phone messages), file reports with the police (even if they can’t do anything about it at the time, it’s a good thing to have it on record). She should find out if your state has a stalking law — some states do, in which case there is something that can be done; if not, there’s nothing that can be done unless and until he actually does something to hurt her or her property.

  54. 54
    Terry31415 says:

    I was going to suggest everything bean said in per’s last paragraph, but I would also suggest having her friend get a gun and learn how to use it.

    I think all chicks ought to have and be able to use a gun.

    Terry31415 (a male with prurient interests in women)

  55. 55
    lucia says:

    Every man in Illinois now has to keep their attention on what she is saying and doing, and analyzing it for withdrawal of consent. And he needs to be prepeared, at any given thrust, to stop and withdraw.

    I live in Illinois. As far as I can tell, the chilling effect has not occurred.

    I got a kick out of this… Tex…

    —-
    You can’t be guilty of rape unless you have criminal intent. Just like you can’t be guilty of car theft unless you intended to steal a car.

    Oh.. Tex. I just borrowed your car. Needed it… for an emergency trip. . to Alaska. I’ll leave it in Murph’s car lot, in Fairbanks! Just wanted to let you know.

    Borrowing. I have no intent to steal it! You can have it back anytime!

    Works for me! Ima gonna go out and borrow me some more cars! :D

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  58. 56
    Charlene says:

    I live in Illinois and I can tell you that this IS a needed law. I was raped in 1994 by a man I had met, formed a mutual attraction for, and walked into a room with. When I didn’t like his rough style, I decided that the make-out session shouldn’t go any further. Two hours later in the police station, after a visit to the hospital for swabs, I was told that you can’t just slam on the brakes; consent is consent. The State’s Attorney told me the same thing, going so far as to cite my “telling him he was cute” and “initiating kissing him on the mouth” as signs of legal consent. But fine, leave all that out. Say I consent to sex, wholeheartedly, with a man. In the middle I realize he is NOT wearing the condom we agreed was mandatory. Am I not allowed to say “No, I don’t want to risk pregnancy or disease so I want you to stop now”? Or do I have to lay there knowing that any struggle is futile and will only lead to physical pain by way of forced sex until he finishes?
    And by the way, if consent to sex means a guarantee of orgasm, there are a LOT of guys out there who owe a LOT of women.

  59. 57
    RonF says:

    I go along with the concept that consent can be withdrawn after it is once given, and that continuing the action that was once consented to after consent is withdrawn is legitimately a criminal act.

    Having said that; the “two more strokes” scenario that is held up above seems highly unlikely to produce any rape convictions. At that particular point there are unlikely to be any third party witnesses, and if consent was given and there was consensual participation by both parties in the act up to that point, there are not going to be the usual telltales that differentiate consensual sex from rape. How would the accuser have any hope of proving that “I said no, but he kept going for another 30 seconds?” unless the two had decided to record their activities.

    It seems to me that this law will only have practical application where the accused, having once gotten consent, would have to have pursued their object well past the point where consent was withdrawn and would thus have left some evidence that force was used.

    This also applies to the “I thought he was using a condom but after we were done I found out he didn’t!” I’d agree a criminal act was committed, but it seems to me that it would be impossible to prove.

  60. 58
    Phil says:

    With laws like this, the state is just ASKING for loads of false accusations.

  61. 59
    Myca says:

    With laws like this, the state is just ASKING for loads of false accusations.

    Why’s that, Phil?

    Also, note that this post is from 2003, so it’s easy to back up your claim. Do you have evidence of a precipitous rise in the number of false accusations over the past 8 years?

    Remember, I said evidence, not ‘maybes.’

    —Myca

  62. 60
    Phil says:

    I just want to point out that the Phil at #58 is a different Phil than me.