Rape, What's the Big Deal?
In our current North American culture with its over the top emphasis on political
correctness, would anyone dare suggest there are issues with how society has come to view rape
as not sex, but a violent act of power and control of a men over women?
The second wave of feminism, spearheaded by Susan Brownmiller (Against our Will,
Men, Women and Rape, 1975), view of rape has removed “sex” from rape and places the
offensive assault into a category that places the full responsibility on the perpetrator, primarily
men. The position is that sex requires consent; ergo, without consent from the woman, rape is not
sex but an assault which uses sex as the weapon. What? Has anyone asked the women who have
been raped if they felt like they had sex? [Statistically, many more women than men are raped.
This paper will focus on female victims with an emphasis on North American experience]
In my rudimentary analysis of the complexities of rape, I believe we have created
confusion as it relates to semantics and the language used to describe “the act of sex”. It is
difficult for me to develop a target statement as a basis for this paper as I too have become
confused. Therefore, I will address what I believe are the essential components of the rape/sex
discussion and how each component adds to or detracts from considering if there is, in fact, sex
in rape. These include the premise used by the current feminist theories that rape is not sex
because sex requires consent. The fact that women suffer significant psychological damage from
being raped that goes beyond what would be expected from other types of physical assault
because of the value and intimacy women attached to sex; and what, if any, role women have in