A Legitimate Question
Matt Lewis is walking a fine line. He’s already been accused of being overly sympathetic to Todd Akin. Today he writes a post trying again to figure out what Akin meant by the term ‘legitimate rape’:
As Akin learned, attempting to distinguish between “legitimate rape” and anything else, is fraught with danger. But maybe — just maybe — the distinction is necessary precisely because some on the left have attempted to change the definition of what constitutes rape.
He cites a post by Slate’s Emily Yoffe (aka Dear Prudence) who suggested to the friend of a woman who initially felt remorseful about having drunken sex that she shouldn’t pursue rape charges against the man. But under the “rape is rape” narrative, this classification of rape – one which occurs in a hazy type of consent rather than no consent at all – would warrant a government-financed abortion. This isn’t to say that Akin is let off the hook for his overall comments. But pertaining to his discussion of “legitimate rape”, we can discuss the rape spectrum as it’s been called.
Yoffe, I think correctly, advised against ruining this man’s life — adding that these sorts of accusations, “makes it that much harder for women who are assaulted to bring charges.” (Note: We don’t know if the man was drunk, too. Is it rape if a sober woman has sex with a drunken man?)
My purely anecdotal guess is that about 98 percent of sex takes place when one or both parties are buzzed, meaning that, by that definition, most of us were the product of rape (the rules apply with drunken married sex, too). Most of us probably owe our very existence to alcohol.
I’d agree with him that a lot of sex takes place in an inebriated state. I hate to think that so many of those acts could be arbitrarily classified as rape which is why I’ve previously argued
that word ‘rape’ should be completely divorced from such acts.
I’d cite other feminists who will distort the concept of rape as it fits their narrative. Hugo Schwzyer introduced us
to the concept of ‘accidental rape’ to describe his interaction with a girlfriend who he retroactively discovered didn’t really want to have sex with him. She did it anyway out of a sense of duty and/or because she didn’t want to reject the boy. ‘Rape’ shouldn’t even be in the ballpark of that discussion and the fact that it is supports Lewis’ claim that many people are just flat-out confused about what actually constitutes rape.
Then we have Amanda Marcotte who, with conservative writer Michael Brendan Dougherty, discussed
fictional character Don Draper’s aggressive tactics towards a female business partner.
By the strict terms of consent as feminists describe it, that was a rape. But it was Don Draper so…
Point it, the entire discussion is based upon arbitrary conceptions of rape. Nailing someone for using the term ‘legitimate rape’ when there is a distinct difference between a forced, violent, random, stranger-perpetrated rape and one in which the involved woman is sometimes not even sure herself whether or not a rape occurred is pure political gamesmanship. And it’s a confusion which has been created through the use of fuzzy terminology that is for some reason off limits for discussion.