Sex and the Sun: There is no justification for rape

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sexonlineThere is no grey area or moral loopholes. No hidden clause in a jumble of legality stating the opposite. Rape Is rape.

Women between the ages of 16-24 have a four times higher risk of being raped than any other group. College freshmen are the most raped women of all.

Rape of young women are too easily blamed on provocative dressing and alcohol consumption.

Excuses, excuses. Both unacceptable.

Rape is caused by rapists. Women should never be blamed for being assaulted, falsely imprisoned and sexually violated. No midriff shirt, no shorts, no amount of alcohol means a woman deserves to be forced to have sex.

Among students, 75 percent of male students and 55 percent of female students involved in rape had consumed drinks or drugs. Not an excuse. If someone is killed by someone who is drunk it is still considered murder. Assaulting someone who is drunk is still rape.

Consent is the moral and legal key to determining what constitutes rape. If a woman says yes it is consensual sex. If a woman says no, it is rape.  If a woman is incapacitated it is also rape.

A stereotypical rapist is a gruesome, brutal-looking man with eyes that pierce and a vibe that screams “danger.” He preys on victims from behind a bush with a handkerchief soaked in chloroform. That is a horror movie rapist. In reality, rapists look like everyone else. An estimated 84 percent of victims knew their assailant. That old high school friend or neighborhood acquaintance may be the culprit. More than half of rapes (57 percent) happened on a date.

Rapists come in all shapes, sizes, races and both sexes. Women are also rapists.

Pat Benatar wrong. Love is not a battlefield. Rape is the battlefield.

According to Major General Patrick Cammaert, the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo, underscored how tough it is to be female.

“It is now more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier in modern wars,” he said.

Cammaert was describing the rape strategy used in the Congo and other African nations. Women are used as weapons of war, pawns in an unfair chess game. It is time to stop objectifying bodies and start recognizing human rights. Innocent, unwilling women should not be included in the casualties of war. Our own military needs to model the way.

Unfortunately, barely 2 percent of rapes are reported to authorities. A culture has been created that leaves both women and men feeling hopeless and unwilling to seek help. People have normalized rape by making excuses for it and joking about it. Asking what a women was wearing at the time of the rape is as ridiculous and unnecessary as asking the rapist what they were wearing. Even if they were walking around stark naked, it does not warrant the act. Rape is inexcusable. Making a “funny” remark is ignorant and offensive.

Elected officials and military leaders condone rape with their antiquated attitudes and stupid remarks. Recently a judge in Montana has been under fire for commentating that a 14-year-old girl appeared “older than her chronological age.” Her rapist was only sentenced to one month in jail. Tragically, the girl killed herself before the trial was over.

In another instance, a top Indian official, Ranjit Sinha, director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, said during a sports ethics panel discussion, “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.” Former Los Angeles Police Chief, Ed Davis, said virtually the same thing in the 1980s.

If the roles were reversed it is unlikely that he would enjoy being unwillingly and forcibly penetrated. Clueless men like Sinha and Davis, with questionable morals and lack of empathy, should not hold the positions they do.

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