I overheard two men and one woman from an ivy league law school discussing rape and accusations of rape. The woman was trying to explain how devastating rape is for a woman. The men seemed more concerned about accusations of “unfounded” or “questionable” rape. They very defensively explained that “obviously it is wrong if a woman says, ‘No’, but what if it’s more ambiguous?”
The men explained that they’ve been in situations before where a woman hasn’t said “No” exactly, but maybe something like, “I don’t know if this is a good idea,” or, “I’m not so sure,” yet the men persisted, the woman relented, and they had sex. The men were concerned that if the definition of rape were “too broad” it would include things like this (i.e. “regretful sex,” “unsatisfactory sex,” “ambiguous sex,” etc.)
I actually think this is a perfect example of rape culture. The idea is that a woman’s wishes don’t really need to be respected. I mean, if a woman expressed any doubt about having sex, why wouldn’t you just respect that, and refrain from pushing her further? Sex shouldn’t be something you have to coax, cajole, coerce, or convince someone to engage in with you.
So, dudes, here’s a rule of thumb: If a woman is not expressly interested in having sex with you, don’t push it, otherwise, yes, you do increasingly approach the realm of involuntary sex, i.e, rape. Why is this so hard to understand?