Essay about Rape Myths
“Sociologists suggest that both sexes hold “rape myths”. Rape myths are stereotyped and false beliefs about sexual assaults, rapists, and rape victims (“”Rape Myth – Howling Pixel”” 2018). They serve as an excuse for the defiler. In a scenario we were given a case study that is very common on college campuses. Sexual violence is more prevalent at college campuses compared to other crimes based on the lack of security officers on campuses, and the lack of education on “consent”. In the case history of date rape, we talk about Peter and Sue and their night after the party.
We are going to focus more on Peter and his stereotypical “rape myths”. We have him stating in his interview how good Sue looked in her “tight black outfit”. Peter assuming that because he invited her to his room, and she accepted that he was for sure “getting lucky” that night. Another example is when Peter tries to undress Sue and her resisting was “normal” and her not minding when he went under her dress. Something that could be considered normalized based on the promotion of media or a childhood experience. Peter and Sue met at a formal gathering in college where alcohol is being consumed at a dorm party.
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Most of the time people assume that if the victim is incapacitated alcohol holds no excuse for the attack. Which is poorly understood because incapacitated people cannot give consent or think in a logical manor. The case study clearly reads that Peter knew Sue was struggling and when she stopped, began to cry, but for some odd reason Peter thought Sue’s tears had nothing to do with the situation at hand. And at the end of his interview states “she came to my room and dressed and acted like she wasn’t a virgin. So what’s the big deal”? Next we have Sue in her interview.
In Sue’s interview we have her stating how she did not want Peter to get the wrong idea about her, since she only knew him for a short time, she suggested to go for a walk outside. But Peter did not agree and insisted that they stay inside because the weather was cold. Sue agreed, and they continued, Peter got more passionate and started to undress her. As Sue tried to fend him off, he reaches under her dress and grabs at her genitals. There are a few instances that if I were in Sue’s shoes I would have done differently. For instance, when Peter did not agree to go outside, I would have pressed to leave and stated that I wanted to leave the room.
If for some reason that did not work, and I found myself still kissing Peter, the moment I felt uncomfortable when he was trying to undress me, I would have said something. At this point Sue was pushing him away, and in her interview stated, “it was as though he did not understand what I was thinking”. First things first men cannot read our minds you have to speak up! For some reason I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that Sue “froze”. I understand everyone reacts differently to situations, but you must be vocal I cannot express that enough. If the situation were a college in Florida and Sue came forward with the information there would be a couple of steps that she would have to go through with a prosecutor.
In the state of Florida, they include rape under sexual battery. The relevant statues no longer give a separate legal definition for rape (“Florida Rape Laws Findlaw”” 2018). A prosecutor must show that the defendant engaged in oral, vaginal, or anal penetration with a sexual organ or object (“Florida Rape Laws Findlaw”” 2018). By Florida state law the prosecutor must show a lack of consent but does not need to show resistance or protest (“Florida Rape Laws Findlaw”” 2018). Consent meaning intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission (“Florida Rape Laws Findlaw”” 2018). Punishment for rape falls under three crime laws.
First being the ages of the victim and the defendant. Second being the use of any weapons. And lastly the personal injury suffered by the victim. The minimum charge for sexual battery committed on a victim over the age of twelve is a second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment up to fifteen years (“Florida Rape Laws Findlaw”” 2018). If the prosecutor can establish one of the circumstances established by Florida law, the state can increase the charge to a first-degree felony, which can result in a sentence for a term of imprisonment lasting up to 30 years (“Florida Rape Laws Findlaw”” 2018). These circumstances include: the defendant’s threats or coercive acts, the victim’s physical incapacity, or the victim’s physical inability to resist (“Florida Rape Laws Findlaw”” 2018)
As in the case history date rape discussed previously, I believe Peter to be wrong. For a set of reasons. Primarily being all the modern “rape myths” just in Peter’s statement alone. Along with the fact of Peter knowingly pursuing Sue even after she wept. If the instance were to happen in Florida, and a prosecutor was able to prove such an incident, I believe Peter to fall under the mark of a second-degree felony. Only because I do not believe Sue to fall under the categories of Florida law.
We as woman should be able to enjoy a night out and not have to worry about falling in the traps of victim blaming. We as woman should do as we see fit and not be judged based on our actions or be set to a standard of modern “rape myths”. In conclusion speak up, speak out, and be heard.