Tonight I’m roaming the web for news about the Republican National Convention. That’s how I came across this article. It made me think of a verse I just read in book of Matthew.
“And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” (Matthew 6:23 NLT)
It’s worth a full read but if time isn’t permitting at least read the following excerpt.
(CNN) — Last week, Republicans and Democrats alike chastised U.S. Rep. Todd Akin for coming up with a highly troubling reference to “legitimate rape,” implying that not all rapes were unjustified, like say when a married man forces his wife to have sex. Akin has since corrected himself and said he opposes only “forcible rape.” Critics point out that there is only one kind of rape — a violent one. Rape is, by definition, a form of aggravated assault.
Opinion: Rape can make you pregnant. Period.
What all the very justifiable media hoopla ignores is that Akin’s view of rape is far from unique. It follows that the educational agenda we all face is much greater and more challenging than setting straight one congressman who claims that he is suffering from a mild case of foot-in- the-mouth disease.
The extent to which young people do not get what rape means has changed little over the years.
Amitai Etzioni. According to statistics in the 1988 book, “I Never Called It Rape,” by Robin Warshaw, 84% of college men who committed rape claimed that what they had done was not, in fact, rape. One in 15 male students reported that they raped someone or attempted to do so in the preceding year. And “nearly one third of college men said they were likely to have sex with an unwilling partner if they thought they could get away with it.”
A more recent study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology in 1998 asked students to what extent it was acceptable for a man to verbally pressure or force a date to have sexual intercourse. The responses show that 17% of men considered that using force was an acceptable strategy to get their way.
Shocked? I wish I could say I was but I am not. I remember a conversation I had with some high school boys about rape. I shared a “hypothetical” situation of a young girl drunk at a party and raped while passed out. The boys response? Some hemming and hawing about whether or not that was really a rape. I won’t go into their justifications, they were similar to what is in this article, but I did decide to turn the tables on them.
I asked if they would offer up the same justifications in a different hypothetical situation. This hypothetical? A gay man is at a party, he has the hots for you. You get drunk and pass out. Does he have the right to take advantage of you, rape you? I said it more graphically than I’m telling you. I know, I know, I admit it was a bit crass. But I wanted to give them a very graphic picture that would seer into their minds. I wanted them to have that picture at the next party. I wanted them to have that picture when they saw a girl passed out. I wanted them to have that picture so there would be no doubt it’s rape. IT’S RAPE.
The boys I spoke to squirmed at the my new hypothetical. I care for these boys and I want to help these boys get “what these boys didn’t get about rape.”
Women, it’s time we start talking to our boys about rape so they can get it.