Kind of picking up from yesterday –
Sexual assault is so odd because it’s the only crime I know of that people view as so subjective.
I sat here for a while, and I started writing out this post about how it’s the only crime I know of with a “gray area.”
However, I’m not 100% sure that’s true…
I think there are maybe other crimes where people have questions… For instance, if people get into a fight at a bar, because someone instigated and someone else fought back – is the instigator charged with assault? What about the person who fought back? Were they merely acting in self defense? Or are both people in trouble? Or neither?
So, I guess there are some gray areas that we could point to in other crimes…
But, to me, it feels like there’s more grey area in sexual assault than there is with other crimes.
I’ve been reading a lot about assault over the past number of months. And it’s amazing the different definitions across the internet (and in people’s minds). There are so many different stories, all with different details, that are all viewed differently by different people…
For instance, I read of a woman specifically asking a man not to finish inside her. But he did, and when he did he flipped her two middle fingers and boasted about it. He directly laughed in the face of an expressed wish about her body, and he put her in potential danger by doing that (pregnancy, STDs, etc). Some people don’t think that story’s a big deal at all. I think it sounds terrible… Look at the comment section of nearly any assault case, and it’s all over the map!
Heck, look at the man who raped a woman when there were witnesses(!) and medical reports… But he was a good swimmer who people liked. So, there are people out there wrote it off as merely a “young mistake.” “Boys will be boys,” and all of that. I understand empathy and I don’t want to crucify anybody, but come on!
That girl lives with the repercussions of that. I don’t think it’s fair not to label it as assault… (And it was indeed labeled a crime by a court of law.) And yet…
Some people have a strong belief that there is no gray area in sexual assault – that no one should have a hard time understanding whether they have consent or not. And if consent is not there, a crime is being committed, period.
And that’s when some people get hung up on what the definition of “consent” really is.
I’ve heard people talking about being afraid of accidentally crossing a boundary and not even realizing it… And while I guess I kind of understand that sometimes there may be nuances or miscommunications (I guess?), (And of course I like the idea of people not wanting to accidentally hurt anyone…) I think for the most part, it shouldn’t be all that super hard to be able to tell if someone is consenting or not. Right?
(I think this is a pretty good video that easily shows the difference between yes and no without always using those exact words, because I think people sometimes fall into the idea that “anything other than a “no” is a yes… whereas I don’t believe “eeeeeh, I really don’t know about this” without any follow-up questions or addressing of concerns constitutes a yes.)
And this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.