A thought has been knocking around in my head for awhile now.
Why do we assume that men consent to rape?
Let me illustrate this with a more palatable scenario.
Let’s imagine we have a man and a woman who are engaged in a mutually agreed upon sexual act. Now, let’s say the man, without the woman’s knowledge or permission, changed the act to something she hadn’t consented to but, for whatever reason, she was unaware.
Let’s further imagine that the sex act they were now engaged in had legal ramifications for the uninformed party. Say the woman could go to jail for a significant length of time and be socially ostracized by her community for having engaged in it.
What level of responsibility does the man have to communicate to his sexual partner that they are now engaged in a sexual activity she did not consent to and has serious ramifications for her future safety and welfare?
Now lets switch things up. Let’s imagine the same scenario except this time it’s the woman withdrawing consent during a sexual activity.
The man is now engaging in a sexual activity–rape–that he has not consented to and has serious ramifications for his future safety and welfare. The woman is the sole arbiter of which sexual activity is taking place–consensual sex or rape. She is also the only one with a clear understanding of which sexual activity is taking place. Her partner is thus reliant on her to inform him, clearly and unequivocally.
What responsibility does she have for ensuring a man’s informed consent to rape?
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