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LindaHilton

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

The Forgotten Garden
Kate Morton
Progress: 74/530 pages
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Edith Birkhead
Progress: 20 %
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
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The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
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Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer
The Power of Myth
Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
Progress: 20 %

What's real . . . and what isn't . . . and I'm not just talking about rape

Real Rape - Susan Estrich

Disclosure:  I make no apologies for being a radical feminist.  Deal with it.  I hold a BA degree from Arizona State University West in women's studies.  Deal with it.  I earned my master's degree in sociology and interdisciplinary studies from ASU-West in 2003.  Deal with it.

 

Too often, the word "rape" is taken to mean forcible sexual assault by a stranger.  Far more often the act is something very different, and is therefore just assumed to be not rape at all.

 

One of the undergrad classes I took was titled "Women, Crime, and Justice."  Our instructor was Dr. Marie Griffin, an attractive, petite blonde in her mid 30s.  About half the students in the class were male police and/or parole officers working toward either Administration of Justice degrees or planning to go on to law school.  Only about one-fourth the students were female.

 

The course covered various aspects of women and the American justice system - women as police officers and judges, women as lawyers,  women as criminals and victims of crime.

 

At the end of the semester, we had to give the usual presentations, and I chose to do mine on rape:  No means no, and what part of No don't you get?  Because rape is more than just physical force -- as we've seen far too graphically in the latest revelations regarding Harvey Weinstein. 

 

Women are threatened into "consenting" to sexual activity, and many people think that this means it's not rape.  Threats can involve the threat of physical harm, threats of financial harm such as loss of job or income, threats to children or pets or other loved ones, threats of self-harm.  These threats do not have to be explicitly articulated; they can be implied, especially by circumstances.

 

After I had given my presentation, one of the police officer students took issue with some of the things I had said.  His argument went something like this:

 

"So, okay.  If I take a woman out, like to dinner and a show, and I spend a couple hundred bucks on her, don't I have the right to expect something in return?"

 

The gasp from the rest of the class was clearly audible.

 

This was in the year 2000.  The guy was a police officer.