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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coercive rape.

Define, please.

I completely believe that a man is guilty of it if he tells his victim "If you don't permit me to have sex with you, I will do X," in which X is some bad thing or thing that the man knows the victim does not want to happen.

But what of , for example, the husband or significant other, who at bedtime asks his wife or girlfriend (with whom he is regularly physically intimate) for sex, and is told no, but persists in pestering her for it until she gives in, just so that she can get some sleep? Is this not using sleep deprivation as torture? Also, does it matter if she eventually ends up enjoying the encounter, despite initial refusal? (Assume zero physical menacing took place, other than the fact that the actor was in the room with the potential victim.)

If it IS defined as Coercive Rape, what percentage of serious relationships have involved some form of it?

And if "rape is rape," does this mean that this is technically the same thing as the violent stranger attack rape that is the stereotype of the term but is less common than acquaintance rape (still rape), drugged rape (still rape), etc?

Discuss. Feel free to get your extreme (liberal or conservative) views on.

Labels: , ,

37 Comments:

At Thursday, July 12, 2012 7:29:00 PM, Blogger Xander said...

To the degree that I can understand rape, it seems to me to be as much (if not more) an emotional crime as a physical crime. So, in the instance of a "coercive rape" does the subject/victim feel annoyed or violated by the coercion? I dont believe that there's any definition that fits neatly into the Penal Code, but I do believe that in any individual case it either is, or 'is not rape. I don't believe that it is always either one or the other.

 
At Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:48:00 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Mmm. Can of worms for desert.

Oddly enough, here's an excerpt from an e,mail I sent to a friend a few hours ago: "Just think how a rape victim feels when she hears some sorority slut cry about being “raped” by a drunk dude at a frat party after she got plastered, ditched her friends, wandered into a bedroom with him and took off most of her own clothes."

Legally: Yeah, if the radical feminists continue to get their way, it could be considered rape. These are people who want to define as rape anything remotely unpleasant, done by a man in the vicinity of a woman. That way they can prove, ya know, that all men are rapists.

Morally: Um. No. From the dawn of humanity until about fifty years ago, men had the presumed right to expect sex with their wives. And women had the presumed (OMG Nooooo!) obligation (*gasp* the other "O" word) to provide it.

Want to talk about sleep deprivation as torture? How about a man who goes to bed frustrated for months on end, so as to accommodate his selfish wife?

And the real test of whether or not it's rape? Ask a real rape victim if it's rape.

 
At Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and I, without knowing you wrote about it, had this very conversation tonight. I said no and she said yes. I told her it was the recent womans studies classes she took at the predominantly all female college she attends that persuaded her opion. She just smiled and told me to order her another drink.

 
At Thursday, July 12, 2012 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Suz said...

@Anonymous,

Start hiding assets. Or go to

http://marriedmansexlife.com/blog/

Or both.

Cassandra spoke but nobody listened.

 
At Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Suz We weren't having the conversation about our own sex life, but that of others. Trust me, if anything, she would be coercive raping me far more often than I would her.

 
At Friday, July 13, 2012 12:27:00 AM, Blogger Suz said...

Good to know, Anon. That 'victim mentality' can be highly contagious.

 
At Friday, July 13, 2012 6:12:00 AM, Blogger Gaffer said...

The lack of logic in assuming that Coercive Sex is always wrong is illustrated by your example. But it could also be argued that the husband who gives in to his partners desire has also been "raped". Are the ladies who push their agenda ready to accept this? I doubt it.

 
At Friday, July 13, 2012 10:15:00 AM, Anonymous azreel said...

Coercive rape?

No. Just, no. No such animal exists.

If I wine and dine a lady, take her out to a movie, and then we have sex at my place later, I could be said to have "coerced" her into sex.

Seriously?

If the wife wants to sleep, she can sleep on the couch, or have the husband do the same.

 
At Friday, July 13, 2012 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Evyl Robot Michael said...

In a generally consenting relationship such as a marriage, the partners have contracts with each other, both explicit and implied. It's better to clearly define though, to eliminate such questions. In one marriage, it may be sexual violation if the Mr. asks a second time after the Mrs. declines due to headache. In another marriage, it may be hunky dory for hubby to use wife's limp body when she's passed out drunk. Or, vice-versa on the gender roles for that matter as this could easily go both directions. It all really depends on expectations and permission - as in consent. If pushing your partner into something they don't really want to do right now is rape, then Jennifer and I have each been guilty of it at one time or another. I prefer to think that we were acting within our own contract and thus, it was all legitimate.

 
At Friday, July 13, 2012 8:04:00 PM, Blogger Sabra said...

It might be, it might not be. Apparent consent can certainly be coerced. Marital rape absolutely happens, sometimes forcibly, sometimes not. I don't think I could make a blanket statement one way or the other.

 
At Friday, July 13, 2012 10:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anon this time said...

When I was first getting started thinking about carrying a firearm, my mom asked me if I would use the gun to prevent a rape. "Of course!" I answered. She shrugged, a little sadly, and said, "Well, if he's not going to kill you, it's just sex when you don't want it. And every married woman has done that."

It made me sad for her.

 
At Saturday, July 14, 2012 10:39:00 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Oh boy. It depends on a lot of things. If the previously non-consenting partner is coming back with something to the effect of, "If I do, will you leave me alone and let me sleep?" It's not exactly enthusiastic consent. It's consent, but just barely and certainly not a positive sort of thing in a relationship. Even if they do end up enjoying it, they will not feel valued as an equal partner in the transaction. But no, I would not consider it rape.
Now if it's more like, "so you wanna have a little fun before we go to sleep?" "Not tonight, I'm really tired." "Please?" "No, really. I'm just not feeling it." "Come on." "No." *more wheedling* "Fine. Can we just get it over with?" That's getting awful darn close to a rape situation. It's not really consent at that point. And come on, not really fun for either party. Would that fly for a rape conviction? No way, no how.
Now if party one massages party two and they get warmed up and into the idea, obviously, happy times for everyone involved and really how it should go down.
It's all very complicated. Yes, rape is rape. No, getting drunk and making bad decisions is not rape even if you regret it in the morning. Getting someone drunk so you can take advantage of them is.
Provided you really respect your partner and their wishes and desires, even if they are just your partner for one night, you aren't going to rape them. The feminists would like to define rape far too broadly.

 
At Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:50:00 AM, Blogger Mikael said...

I certainly wouldn't equate "Do it or I'll fucking kill you and your family" and nagging them until they say yes.

The first example I would call clear-cut rape.

If they got nagged into it, they don't really have a problem with the doing it with that partner. Especially in a marriage. I certainly wouldn't consider it to be a nice thing to do, but not rape, with the possible exception of teen girls getting guilted into it, and even then it's not as bad as the first example.

 
At Saturday, July 14, 2012 6:59:00 PM, Blogger Squeaky Wheel said...

To everyone who says that the deprivation of sleep and the coercion of the husband isn't a form of rape - I honestly don't believe you've ever been in a situation to make that call. If you had, you wouldn't say things like "selfish wife" and whatnot.

There are a myriad of reasons why not wanting to sleep with your spouse is legitimate, from both sides. I didn't find out that my ex-husband was even capable of what he did to me until it started happening, after we were married and he had effectively cut me off from most of my emotional and physical support lines (family, friends, finances, and firearms).

It absolutely is rape. It's sexual and emotional abuse used to meet the sexual and emotional satisfaction of the attacker. THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF RAPE.

And yes, women can absolutely do it to men, too, but there's this thing with men: they have to have an erection to have sex. A woman's got a hole, and whether she's ready or not, a guy can just go to it without concern, because whether it's in the usual way or with blood, he'll get his lube. That penetration is a violation when it's not welcomed expressly (even if the welcome is coy), and that shit hurts.

A sorority girl getting drunk and making a bad decision isn't a valid comparison, but if the guy's not impaired, and still takes advantage of the situation, there's a fuzzy line that creates confusion, and that confusion can be called "rape" if other circumstances permit (like if the girl had never displayed that sort of behavior before).

If you're unhappy with your sex life while married, that's what communication is for - to find a solution that works for both of you. Counseling, "marital aids," whatever...you fix the underlying issue. You don't act like an asshole just to get your way. That's not compromise, and that's not a marriage. Anyone who condones the "women should just be used to having sex whenever the husband wants when they're married" line of thinking needs to have a wake-up call, and while I'd prefer it not be violent or damaging, you know what they say about some political affiliations: "A conservative is just a liberal who's been robbed."

 
At Sunday, July 15, 2012 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Suz said...

@ Squeaky Wheel,
I think your perception may be colored by your own abuse. Your personal experience has taught you to view with suspicion, anything remotely resembling the abuse you suffered. Within the context of an abusive relationship, coercive sex can be considered "marital rape," especially if it is done routinely as part of an ongoing campaign to degrade and dehumanize the wife. This is the exception, not the rule. Indeed it is such an extreme exception, it could be construed as one that proves the rule. In a normal relationship, it is nothing more than an occasional inconvenience. Trying to protect yourself from active abuse is not being a "selfish wife," but the vast majority of women in this situation are not being abused; they're merely being asked to do something they'd rather not do.

I'm sure you know that ongoing abuse starts subtlely. The abuser incorporates many normal, or at worst, shrug-inducing behaviors into an escalating pattern of control. Innocent-but-unpleasant behaviors used maliciously by sociopaths, are still innocent-but-unpleasant behaviors.

 
At Sunday, July 15, 2012 4:55:00 PM, Blogger Squeaky Wheel said...

@Suz - I don't know you, but based on your comments, I have no reason to believe that you're anything but a moron. I sincerely apologize for even bothering to explain my situation, as you obviously like to take any new information and warp it to your own ends.

I recognize the difference between abuse and rape. You, obviously, don't.

 
At Sunday, July 15, 2012 5:36:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

We're not going to be calling people names, here. Squeaky, you're a friend, but I won't put up with that here.

I asked a question. I was hoping for reasoned discourse. Your point will be better made if you can make it without attacking the individuals who make counter points. To that end, Suz, telling someone else why they feel the way that they do about something is a pretty effective way of getting them to twist off on you.

FWIW,
--Matt

 
At Sunday, July 15, 2012 5:44:00 PM, Blogger Squeaky Wheel said...

You said it more eloquently than I could, given the subject matter.

You can't tell someone how to feel about something even if you HAVE been through it, because it's all different. There are levels of understanding and experience that you just can't fathom, even if you talk to everyone and get their viewpoints. It's just not possible, and to presume to tell someone why they feel a certain way is, I'm sorry, moronic.

I won't be commenting on this again, Matt, don't worry. I shouldn't have clicked to read the comments, in the first place, because I *knew* that I would come across something like this, but I'd hoped that perhaps the arguing methods wouldn't be quite so ham-fisted as those I've seen.

 
At Sunday, July 15, 2012 7:36:00 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Sorry, Matt. I spend most of my online time in the Manosphere; I'm accustomed to discussions where straightforward challenges are welcome, as they make people consider points of view they may not have noticed previously. Although I don't engage in name-calling, I don't take it personally when people become emotional.

It appears that Squeaky was so intent on hurling epithets and accusations, she forgot to add relevant content. I actually would like her to elaborate on her statement, and perhaps show where I'm incorrect, and why.

For instance, under what circumstances is "coerced sex" to be equated with rape or torture? Is it rape when it occurs occasionally within a healthy marriage, or only when it is an intentionally malicious habit in an abusive one? How does one tell the difference? There must be a difference got it to be taken seriously as a problem.

Also what IS the difference between rape and abuse, in her opinion, and how does that apply to my comment?


btw, this might help:

"rape1    [reyp] Show IPA noun, verb, raped, rap·ing.
noun
1.
the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
2.
any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
3.
statutory rape.
4.
an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
5.
Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force."

from dictionary.com
***

I think that technically, the answer to your original question lies in the difference between "coercion" and "duress," and whether or not there is a threat of harm.

 
At Sunday, July 15, 2012 9:49:00 PM, Blogger phlegmfatale said...

I largely quite agree with the comments of Evyl Robot Michael, but I'll go one further. If one is in an exclusive relationship with a partner, an occasional headache is one thing, but if one is continually wilfully denied sex by a partner who is not suffering a health condition [mental or physical (legally married or no)], they deserve to be fucked around on.

My opinion, worth what you paid. One should not feel they ALWAYS have to be in the mood, but the agreement to sex is part of the relationship deal, and a person who denies sex to their partner in my opinion has no right bitching about a partner who goes elsewhere.

All that being said, though, a person should never force another person to have sex against their will. My point is just that if you buy the cow, (or bull) you should get the milk (or other stuff) in the package deal. Them's the rules.

 
At Sunday, July 15, 2012 11:48:00 PM, Blogger phlegmfatale said...

Um, now that I read it, Suz' previous comment seems more to muddy the waters than clarify. How about just draw the line at "unwanted sex is rape." Period. Seems simple enough to me. No clarifcation necessry.

That goes back to my previous comment about unwilling partner, too: person in relationship who does not want sex has not claim for betrayal if their partner finds willing sex elsewhere. Period. End of story.

 
At Tuesday, July 17, 2012 7:25:00 AM, Blogger Suz said...

It’s a muddy issue.
It depends on the circumstances. To say it’s never rape is to leave women vulnerable to abuse; to say it’s always rape is to leave men vulnerable to abuse. Consider the two scenarios that are likely the most common.
First is with a physically and/or emotionally abusive husband. He demands sex at any time without regard for his wife’s needs or feelings. He probably even makes a point of demanding sex when it creates a hardship for her, like when she has to wake up early. His purpose is to control her and undermine her self-confidence, not for her benefit or the benefit of the marriage, but for the sake of control itself. In this case the coercion is probably even duress, because the threat of retaliation is implied if not stated. How could that not be considered marital rape?
The second likely scenario is precisely the opposite. It’s a husband “begging” for sex, but completely on his wife’s terms, not his. She withholds sex as a means of controlling him. (And yes, if he has to beg, she withholds sex habitually.) Even when she gives in, it’s with disgust or impatience, assuring that he will feel guilty or inadequate. Not only that, but if he gets “out of line” she can hold the threat of rape charges over him. And then he owes her, big time. This too is abuse. However, since men aren’t taught to view themselves as potential victims, most men in this situation don’t even realize how badly they’re being manipulated into complete emotional dependence. How is that rape when it’s precisely what the wife wants?
Outside of these two scenarios where one party uses sex to control the other, coercion probably happens very rarely; either he goes to bed frustrated or she gives in out of courtesy, even if it’s inconvenient.

 
At Wednesday, July 18, 2012 9:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suz - more muddy than you admit, I think, and leaking like a sieve, to boot. I'm in a relationship where my partner withholds sex as a means of controlling the relationship, but I take exception to your characterization of the two likely scenarios. My partner withholding sex is male. We have not had sex this calendar year, but I'm female, so maybe my femaleness just makes me feel victimized.

 
At Wednesday, July 18, 2012 10:24:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Hey, Suz?

I know the legal definition of rape. I've got a lot of education in this stuff. I've also got some experience in investigating rapes and filing reports on them.

Dictionary Dot Com's definition isn't real helpful in this case, and if it were, a guy who has posted a blog for 6 years could presumably have accessed such information as easily as you did.

As for being in the "Manosphere," I'm curious how that helps. I've spent over a decade as a moderator on a major firearms bulletin board, the vast majority of which users were men. I've had occasion to review posts for their directness, reasonableness, and clarity, and I'll be honest when I tell you that I've seen no greater influx of it from men than from women. Some of my co-moderators were women, and they did just fine without needing to resort to changing their tone for the given gender that they were speaking to.

 
At Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:01:00 AM, Blogger Suz said...

Anonymous,
By "likely," I meant "more common," which doesn't exclude other scenarios.

Matt,
The fact that you were moderating a gun blog (guns being a traditionally masculine interest) means that most of your female readers probably fell into two groups - hysterical antis, and women far more thoughtful and aware than most women. In that pool, the ratio of irrational males to irrational females would probably be about even.

As for my posting the most easily accessed simplistic definition of rape, it was in response to Squeaky's highly subjective definition. Were you planning to also say, "Hey Squeaky, I know the definition of rape," or would that be too unkind?

Of course marital rape is more complex than my definition. It's also more complex than hers. In terms of securing a conviction for a real crime, which definition is the better place to start? Have you ever used Squeaky's definition of rape in your work? When you asked for a discussion here, did you want a balanced one?

My mention of the Manosphere was because of the quality of debate on the most highly respected sites over there. The authors and the most frequent commenters are coldly rational, and non-rational, emotional appeals from both sexes are readily exposed for their lack of logic. That type of discussion brings out some very real truths, unencumbered by emotion-based distractions and straw men. I strongly recommend you check it out - The Spearhead, A Voice for Men, Dalrock. You will be impressed by the logic.

 
At Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:54:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Oh, I've checked it out.

And I was impressed.

 
At Friday, July 20, 2012 2:46:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

(Just not in a good way.)

 
At Friday, July 20, 2012 3:07:00 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Did you see any lies?

 
At Friday, July 20, 2012 3:18:00 PM, Blogger Suz said...

(Except from one or two overly-emotional types who were probably put in their places immediately?)

(Also, don't believe the SPLC, who gets funding from hate groups.)

 
At Friday, July 20, 2012 10:50:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Oh, I totally believed Paul Elam when he pledged that, if he sat on a jury panel in a rape trial, he would acquit the accused even in the face of clear evidence that the defendant was guilty.

Note: Paul Elam isn't some random commentor: he's the moderator of the site "A Voice For Men." Of course, if he were to sit on such a jury, he would have violated his oath, and have committed perjury.

Sorry, I had trouble stomaching much more of such dreck, "sir". But I was impressed, all right.

 
At Saturday, July 21, 2012 5:42:00 AM, Blogger Suz said...

Paul also said:
"With rape shield laws and their trampling of every defendants right to a fair trial, the law itself cannot be trusted."
...in the same article. He's not saying he would presume a rape didn't occur, he's saying he would presume the defendant wasn't getting a fair trial. And there's a good chance he'd be right.

Is it OK with you that since the passage of VAWA, the 4th amendment no longer applies to males? How many men has your department arrested and jailed, without probable cause, because an arrest is now required to follow ANY accusation? Do you know that there are probably cops in your department who can only exercise discretion on the sly, and do so by telling DV "offenders" to take a walk so as not to be arrested the moment the magic words "he hit me" are spoken? How much federal grant money has your department received to imprison them without due process? And how many women get the same treatment? Do you think the Mary Kelletts of the world are all holed up in Maine? Even Congress had to acknowledge it this year.

There's a backlash coming. Don't know how long it will take, but one of these days we women will get exactly the "equality" we keep saying we want.

Do you have a son?

 
At Saturday, July 21, 2012 6:10:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Suz, you honestly believe that I or any other police officer is compelled to make an arrest without probable cause, based soley upon an accusation from any woman, because of the Violence Against Women Act Of 1994? Which was partly struck down by US v Morrison? You're trying to tell ME that this 18 year old law requires me to suspend the 4th Amendment rights of the accused?

Suz, I'll try to say this with as much respect as I possibly can muster: You don't know what you're talking about, and you clearly don't know who you're talking to.

Go somewhere else to spread your disinformation. Adults are talking, here.

 
At Saturday, July 21, 2012 7:09:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

"
I DO have a son, and I don't like what the future holds for him.

I'm speaking up on behalf of his rights."


You know, I clicked Delete on your comment too early; perhaps I should explain something.

Suz, you don't know the law. You're quoting people who don't know it either, or are lying to you. You're telling me, a cop with a Master Peace Officer's License and all but the sheepskin for a Master's in Criminal Justice, with experience (STATED HERE, IN THIS COMMENT THREAD!) in investigation of sexual assault, what I'm required to do, and what I do-- and you're wrong. You're dead wrong. I will now save this thread, and tell people: "Suz was wrong here. What else was she wrong about? What else is she saying to you that doesn't make sense if you will take the time to parse it out, and check the facts?"

The term "rape apologist" has been bandied about so much, it almost has lost its meaning anymore. But when you defend a guy who says that he would cause a rapist to go free in any instance, I wonder what kind of person you are, and what kind of a man you've reared your son to become. Would you be proud of him for releasing a rapist? Would your mother? Would your father?

You uphold the values of a man who states that child prostitutes should be prosecuted for preying upon pedophiles. (He then confirms it here.)

You tell me that I and my co-workers violate men's 4th Amendment rights without having ever met me. Have you read this blog? Have you not figured out that I'm doing my damndest to try to preserve the rights of the citizens that I serve?

No. You haven't. You believe what somebody told you, without checking on it. Please go look.

And while I don't mind in the least having someone disagree with me on my blog (I may or may not argue their points), I can't stomach your falsehoods here. "See any lies?" you asked me. Yep. Go away.

 
At Saturday, July 21, 2012 8:10:00 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Oh good God! If you're getting your information from Man Boobz, that's where the lies are coming from. Futrelle is an expert comment-miner. Do you know what a comment- miner is? It's a person who picks out the most extreme views and unmoderated comments, and claims that these views represent an entire school of thought.

Kind of the same way you assume I completely agree with everything Paul Elam says. (Incidentally, I DON'T support his statement that you referenced, even though I think he has a point in questioning the veracity of evidence.)

Keep looking if you want. There are a bunch of White Nationalists (some of whom make some creditable statements) who, along with the pedophiles, are trying to weasel their way into relevance in the MRM. They're not getting very far, but people like Futrelle will give you the impression they dominate it.

The MRM despises racism AND pedophilia, because MALES are victims of both.

By now I don't expect you to be publishing any more of my comments, so you can take it or leave it. This thread will be on my blog soon though, with analysis.

 
At Thursday, October 11, 2012 9:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men's Right's Activist, or MRA. Basically a gendered version of groups like white power, or some religious movements. Good on you to spot him/her, Matt G. Sad that she/he shut down this conversation.

For what it's worth, I think there's a distinction between rape and prosecutable rape. Just like some people can be crazy, even though neither the state nor the medical establishment has the scope to declare them so.

In that case, the person being raped must use non Justice System channels to protect themselves from further rape. Kick him/her to the curb, get your friends, coworkers, family, social services, whatever, to help you, if you can.

 
At Thursday, January 17, 2013 2:33:00 PM, Anonymous T-rex said...

So Suz,
If a man asks his partner for sex and she says no because she's tired or busy or whatever (but normally has sex with him at least twice a week). and he continues to pester her, and fingers her even after she tries to push him away, and then starts to get aroused from his forced finger penetration, so gives in to penile vaginal sex because it's easier than saying no (and she's unsure about what to do because he already forced his fingers inside her anyway). and if she continues to fight he might get mad and stomp around and call her a bitch. Is it rape?

 
At Thursday, October 24, 2013 4:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is rape. I have had that happen to me over and over and over again in my 9 year marriage.

 

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