A Time Limit On Rape?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lex, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. Lex

    Lex
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    From Time.com. I'm rather speechless.

    If a woman consents to having sex with a man but then during intercourse says no, and the man continues, is it rape?

    The answer depends on where you live. The highest courts of seven states, including Connecticut and Kansas, have ruled that a woman may withdraw her consent at any time, and if the man doesn't stop, he is committing rape. Illinois has become the first state to pass legislation giving a woman that right to change her mind. But in Maryland--as well as in North Carolina--when a woman says yes, she can't take it back once sex has begun--or, at least, she can't call the act rape.

    That was the recent ruling by Maryland's Court of Special Appeals in a case that may soon make its way to the state's highest court and that has captured the attention of feminists and legal experts across the country. Advocates for victims' rights insist it's not just a matter of allowing a woman to have a change of heart.

    If the law doesn't recognize a woman's right to say no during sex, they say, there is no recourse for a woman who begins to feel pain or who learns her partner isn't wearing a condom or has HIV. Those who are wary of these measures say they're not arguing against having a man stop immediately when a woman no longer wants to have sex, but with how to define immediately.

    When the California Supreme Court handed down a ruling in 2003 that codified the withdrawal of consent during sex, Justice Janice Rogers Brown, the lone dissenter, raised that very question. "The majority relies heavily on [the defendant's] failure to desist immediately," she wrote in her minority opinion. "But it does not tell us how soon would have been soon enough. Ten seconds? Thirty? A minute?" Mel Feit, executive director of the National Center for Men, a male-advocacy group based in Old Bethpage, N.Y., says biology is a factor. "At a certain point during arousal, we don't have complete control over our ability to stop," he says. "To equate that with brutal, violent rape weakens the whole concept of rape." His group has created a "consensual sex contract" to be signed before intercourse.

    Victims' rights activists don't buy the loss-of-control argument. "It's insulting to men to say they can't stop," says Lisae C. Jordan, legislative counsel for the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. "Any one of us who's had a toddler walk in on them knows that that's not true. Or a teenager who's had a parent walk in--they stop pretty quickly." Still, even advocates concede it's hard to set a time frame in which sex must cease after consent is taken back. "I don't know where that bright line is," says Scott Berkowitz of the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. "We'll leave that to juries to decide what's reasonable in each case."

    The murkiness surrounding what's reasonable has deepened further with the Maryland case, which was tried in 2004. The accuser and the defendant agree that after he began to penetrate her and she wanted him to stop, he did so within a matter of seconds and did not climax. Even so, during deliberations, the jury sent a note to the judge asking if it was rape if a female changed her mind during the sex to which she consented and the man continued until climax. The judge said it was for them to decide. They convicted the defendant of first-degree rape, among other sex offenses.

    But the appellate court, citing a 1980 rape ruling based on the English common-law idea of "the initial de-flowering of the woman as the real harm," unanimously ordered a new trial, essentially stating that how fast was not the issue, nor was whether the accuser had said no during intercourse.

    In Maryland, rape is determined at the beginning of the sex act, and therefore consent is officially given at that point. The court wrote, "It was the act of penetration that was the essence of the crime of rape; after this initial infringement upon the responsible male's interest in a woman's sexual and reproductive functions, any further injury was considered to be less consequential. The damage was done."

    This logic has inflamed feminists and editorial-page writers. "The decision is philosophically from another century, from a time when our rape laws were based on the concept of women being property of men," says Berkowitz, whose organization will push for a legislative remedy if Maryland's highest court doesn't reverse the ruling. In the meantime, the defendant is serving a five-year sentence, and the legal world continues to debate how quickly--if at all--a man must go when a woman says no.
     
  2. ClaireTalon

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    I think there should be a right to say no and stop having sex at any time. Before foreplay, during it, and after the penetration has happened. I think it's bad style to revoke your consent when the sex has already begun, but I think there are reasons to do so. What if someone has STD's, but won't tell so before you have consented to the sex? What if a woman changes her mind, or doesn't want to fake lust or interest after discovering the man can't live up to the expectations he caused? What if the consent is actually only a misunderstanding?

    Forcing sex, especially after the partner has said no and tried to fight it of, is rape in my eyes. Thank god, I've never run into someone who hasn't taken a no for an answer, but usually I say no before there's anything that could be misunderstood as my consent.
     
  3. Shelby

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    The way feminism has things going pretty soon they'll be getting rape convictions because the ho's pissed she didn't get called the next morning.

    Shit, probably has already happened.
     
  4. Lex

    Lex
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    If you've done nothing wrong; you've nothing to fear.
     
  5. Shelby

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    Unless you go to Duke.
     
  6. Lex

    Lex
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    And they were found to be innocent and charges were dropped. Next.
     
  7. meatpackingbubba

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    Concerning the Duke La Crosse team:

    The rape charges were dropped before trial for a variety of reasons, including an accuser who can't make up her mind and a prosecutor who himself is now facing disbarment for prosecutorial misconduct related to the case. The accused were not found innocent at trial, and they are still facing charges of sexual assault.

    Concerning a person's right to withdraw consent to sex at any time, it should be obvious that this right exists, but that such a change of mind cannot be retroactive, which is to say that what occurs before consent is withdrawn is not rape.
     
  8. Lex

    Lex
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    Thanks for the correction, Bubba. My point to Shelby is that engaging in reckless behavior leads to reckless consequences. Act accordingly.
     
  9. mindseye

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    I can't speak for Maryland, but as a North Carolina resident for over 20 years, I can address the law in North Carolina. I think that Time has presented only half the story in order to mislead people that North Carolina is somehow behind the times.

    Let's assume, by the way, that the woman is not mentally disabled or a minor, or has some other condition that would impair her ability to initially give consent. (Otherwise, North Carolina would not recognize the original consent, and the man could be prosecuted as rape.)

    North Carolina statutes define two crimes: "rape" (GS 14-27.2-3) and "sexual offense" (GS 14-27.4-5). Under the definition, "rape" requires penetration. GS 14-27.10, which describes the burden of proof required in sexual assault cases, states,

    If the man had consent when he penetrated her, and she later revoked consent, then the crime the man committed doesn't fall under the statutory definition of "rape", but it is still a "sexual offense".

    Does the change in terminology mean that the man will be treated more leniently? Nope. The penalties for "rape" and "sexual offense" in North Carolina are exactly the same: Both are a Class C felony, elevated to Class B if a weapon was used (or if injury was inflicted).

    From my reading, Time is trying to suggest that the law in North Carolina fails to protect women who change their minds after intercourse has begun, but it doesn't.
     
  10. Ethyl

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    I'm sure it has but i'll wager the number of women who said "stop" for legitimate reasons and were ignored are exponentially higher.

    Whether or not you support feminism doesn't sway the facts. Rape is the most underreported crime and 1 in 6 women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.
     
  11. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    One more reason for a man to video most (if not all) of his sexual escapades.:rolleyes:
     
  12. HazelGod

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    Reading that passage, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry...

    Mindseye raises an excellent point...most states' penal codes are extremely lengthy documents (yeah, I know...very punny) and the colloquialisms which we know in common language aren't always represented by a single statute in these codes. If issues like this are important to you, don't be satisfied with the predigested information being spoon-fed to you by Time Warner...avail yourself of the facts and express an informed opinion.
     
  13. kamikazee_club

    kamikazee_club New Member

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    Yes, on both counts.

    Feminism, according to many women I have spoken to about this is seen more as an unfortunate hangover from an earlier generation than a call for equal rights. One which today is too often [mis]used by assholes, of either gender as a whipping stick with which they are repeatedly beaten or beat themselves when expressing views and demanding rights that in any reasonable society should surely be assumed as applicable to all, without the need for legislation or 'isms' which seem to do as much to underscore differences as inequality as bridge them by acceptance.

    The sorts of actions Shelby referred to have nothing to do with Feminism per se and everything to do with the growing tendency toward abdication of personal responsibility for actions later regretted and the subsequent need to punish others for those mistakes.

    Shelby was no doubt making his comment tongue in cheek, but the fact that many would say it with complete sincerity creates a side effect that in genuine cases (i.e. most) the victim can be disadvantaged even further, right from the off.

    In that vein, Shelby's use of Feminism [in close conjuction with ho] is evidence of a smokescreen behind which lies a key danger that the word can present for women today. By providing men and, to be fair some women with a convenient, pseudo-humorous, throwaway 'out' for those that have never been on the receiving end of rape [or are in denial] and have no concept of the reality and lifelong effects it can have it subverts and trivialises the very nature of the crime.

    Back on topic, sorry. In the context of the OP; anyone, male or female having sex in normal cirmcumstances has the right to say no and have it respected immediately, provided it's articulated clearly, unambiguously and, for the sake of Shelby at the time. It's hard to see how that needs pages of legal bullshit to explain. When those criteria are not met is a whole other can of [legal bullshit] worms.
     
  14. chico8

    chico8 New Member

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    Your story is very sad. I'm sorrry you had to experience that.

    It does bring up a point that many overlook. When does society shoulder the blame for sexual abuse of women? You obviously felt you couldn't go to your parents, those around you were powerless and your tech teacher totally failed in his position as a teacher. If someone had stood up and said something, you might not have had to go through it any more. Rape counseling should be free across the country and no woman should ever be forced to face her rapist in court.

    The new laws are troubling because it turns into a "he said, she said" situation and if there's no physical evidence then it's all about believability and presentation and not about justice.

    I think what's needed is more sex ed for young teens and teaching them that no means no.
     
  15. jakeatolla

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    A female friend of my Wife went out on a date with a co-worker, and
    ended up having sex later that night. He talked her into having anal sex
    which she agreed to at first, but then said no when it became painfull.
    He didn't stop, in fact he plowed deeper and harder and caused some serious damage to her colon. The police would not press charges
    because they say that it was consensual. Go figure that one...
     
  16. Shelby

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    props. never give up/in.
     
  17. jakeatolla

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    Um, hello.... Remember Mike Tyson ??

    He wasn't guilty of rape, he was guilty of treating the girl
    like shit after they had sex.
     
  18. virusss

    virusss New Member

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    Self-control aside. Any moral man will stop when a woman tells him to. If he doesn't then he's raping her. It's as simple as that. There's no excuse. I don't care if it's your wife. You need to respect the wishes of other people. Period.
     
  19. dostoy

    dostoy New Member

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    Again, I make the plaintive plea that all sex acts be caught on video and appropriately cataloged. Preferably digitally for desemenization purposes only. :eek:)
     
  20. AlteredEgo

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    Someone I love very much is still suffering panic attacks years after he was falsely accused of rape. And he was never even formally charged. We cannot pretend it doesn't happen. It happens, and for a variety of reasons. It makes it difficult for some men to trust women, and makes it harder for some women to get justice.
     
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