Coersion and Rape

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Coersion and Rape

co-erce ko-ers vb co-erced; co-ercing 1: RESTRAIN, REPRESS 2: COMPEL 3:

ENFORCE

--co-er-sion -er-zhen,shen n --co-er-cive -er-siv adj rape ^r`ap n 1:

a carrying away by force 2: sexual intercourse by a man with a woman without

her consent and chiefly by force or deception; also : unlawful sexual

intercourse of any kind by force or threat

As if the line between normal and acceptable consensual sex and rape

wasn't thin enough already, there are those out there that wish to make it an

even narrower, less defined and more twisting line to stay on the right side of.

It seems as though somehow, somewhere, someone decided that the two terms

defined above are in some way related. However, in the manner of logic which I

possess, they are not. The debate now is rape, and what constitutes that once

horridly thought of crime. In the opinion of some, rape is no longer just a

physical act of violence that accompanies uninvited sex. Rape, as defined by

some, can occur even when the two parties involved agree verbally or otherwise

to have sex. This to me, seems absurd. In the most basic terms, and with the

simplest definitions, no means no, and okay, yeah, yes and please, all mean yes.

The term "NO" is not very complicated, and is probably the word that was

repeated to us the most as children, so we should all get that one right. But

still, how can yes mean no? Apparently through a term known as "verbal

coersion," which allows a large grey area to form between these simple answers

to sometimes complicated questions.

"Verbal Coersion" is not a term you will find in the dictionary, at

least not in any of the ones I own. In an article by David R. Carlin, Jr., he

states that as he interprets this term "rape [can] occur even when consent is

given, provided this consent is influenced by external pressures and is not

simply the result of internal desire.(12; par.3)." I find this to be an

acceptable definition of coersion as it relates to sexual situations, although I

feel strongly that under no circumstance can coersion constitute rape, once the

coerced has consented to full physical acceptance of sexual advances.

Although coersion can be exercised through many different approaches, I

contend that the entire idea that verbal coersion can constitute rape is

inadequate on one main principle. In order to coerce s...

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(Rophie 647, par. 7)." I think that this is due to the fact that it is finally

acceptable for women to want sex. No longer are women treated as outcasts for

wanting to have sexual relations on a first or second date. Women can now

initiate sexual contact without being nearly as embarrassed as they feel like

they should be. Also, women are now allowed to participate in the coercing.

Although they don't as much, it's always fun when the roles are reversed and

the man gets to try to hold off.

The preconceived notion that we all carry which implies that for men,

the goal of dating is sexual conquest is true, and I'm sure always will be. The

way that most men attempt to achieve these conquests is through coersion. As

Susan Jacoby says in her essay, "Real men don't rape(644, par.19)." In my

opinion, though, there's nothing wrong with trying to change someone else's

opinion of you, or how that person feels about you. And that is coersion. And,

often times, it is sexually oriented. And, if it does lead to sex, that's fine.

It should also be fine if it doesn't. But either way, I think that it's

unrealistic to consider coersion of any type to be a form of rape.

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