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Date Rape - Essay Example

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No one owes anyone sex. Sex is the expression of a willingness to be known. It has to be a journey into mutual selves by two consenting adults for it to be pleasurable. Rape is an illegal entry into one's physical and mental space. It is an attack on someone's private property without any concern for the dignity of the self of the subdued…
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Download file to see previous pages Sometimes called 'contact rape' or 'sleep rape', the act is performed with the help of drugs like ketamine, Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and benzodiazepines such as Flunitrazepam ('roofies')1.
Keith Burgess-Jackson in a recent book on rape called A Most Detestable Crime: New philosophical Essays on Rape (OUP, 1999) states that rape is such a confounding idea that it is tough to restrain it within a definition. There are too many kinds of it and hence the comprehensiveness of one definition can be measured only by the exclusions it suggests.
should it be conceived as forced sex, violent sex, coerced sex, compelled sex, nonconsensual sex, pressured sex, exploited sex, involuntary sex, expropriated sex, objectified sex, unwanted sex, nonmutual sex, or bad sex. Here the philosopher must do more than provide a definition. He or she must formulate a theory a theory of the concept. It may be that no single theory accommodates all of the data, in which case the most we can hope for is a theory that illuminates more than any other2.(4)
The idea of date rape adds one more bizarre dimension to this array of human bestiality. In fact, the process of classifying rapes has itself come under scrutiny. Feminists have argued that there has always been a salacious element in the naming and description of this private female trauma. Both men and women were callous enough to excuse such 'aberrations' within the sphere of life. But, of late, things have changed.

In an interesting book called Representing Rape: Language and Sexual Consent (Routledge, 2001), Susan Ehrlich argues that continued resistance to male linguistic appropriation have resulted in a new glossary of the female psyche. She says that "when one group holds a monopoly on naming, its bias is embedded in the names it supplies and the names it does not supply. Thus, innovative terms such as sexism, sexual harassment and date rape are said to be significant in that they give a name to the experiences of women. a few years ago they were just called life." (12)
Rape is much more prevalent than believed. Social, cultural and even educational factors prevent women from reporting acquaintance rape. Quite often, the victimizer is shrewd enough to convince the victimized that the act was not rape, that it happened because of circumstances, that it was an uncontrollable expression of emotion and so on. Since a majority of the women involved in such cases are credulous or nave, such verbal excuses assume significance too. The result is that date rapes are not as systematically reported as are 'rapes.' This mystifies it; more so because it is common knowledge that any act of forceful sex is not subsumed under the definition of rape. The prevalence rate of acquaintance rapes are often found to be erratic simply because the victims are either ignorant of the crime perpetrated on them or they do not want to add on to the unedifying aftermath (including legal formalities) of an acquaintance rape.
In an inspired study called Violence in Dating Relationships: Emerging Social Issues, editors Maureen A Pirog-Good and Jan E.Stets contend that when the victimizer is an acquaintance, women are often reluctant to identify the person let alone label the event as rape3. This is the reason why we do not have authentic statistical data on this social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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