20

Yes, as severely as rape
Yes, but less severely than rape
No

25 comments

Coercion is one manifestation of rape, if you take rape to mean sexual acts that were lacking in freely given consent. I understand the need for precise language and believe it's beneficial to discuss the differing circumstances where someone is raped instead of treating it as monolithic (without diminishing it's severity in a given instance), but I still think this would qualify coercion as a type of rape, no?

I have an inkling that the reason society shies away from necessarily deeming coercion as rape, is that it would implicate the vast majority of men as rapists. And it's more comfortable to the average woman (and soothes the ego of the average man) to relegate rape to the domain of a select few deemed to have aberrant psychologies, instead of contending with the disquieting reality that most men have done something that logically amounts to rape.

This.

It is a relatively new development that most women can even afford to not get married. And even so, there still is massive social pressure to at least have a boyfriend.

All men, especially subpar men who do not add anything to a woman's life, benefit from this.

Now, I would consider coercion by society as a whole to be a bit different from direct, male on female coercion (be it violent, as in, using their physical strength to intimidate women, or financial, like using prostitutes) but still.

All men who have sex with women benefit from patriarchy, none of them can know for sure whether the women they have sex with would have decided to have sex with them if they were truly free.

That's a very uncomfortable thing to admit to oneself.

I don’t believe consent is something women can really do currently. I know that’s a hot take but tell me there’s ever a situation in which she can freely say no.

I agree with you fully. I thought about wording the question differently to express that, but was worried some women who do view them separately would answer differently.

When I was 18 and “dating” a 38-year-old man, I went over just to watch movies and eat, and by the end of the night he was literally begging me to kiss and just stay the night. We went back and forth for about a half hour with me saying “not tonight,” “I didn’t feel like it,” and other expressions of the word “no.” I wish I could’ve screamed no and ran out of there, but although I wasn’t afraid for my physical safety, I was afraid he would think I was rude, which was to me (at the time) a fate worse than death.

So I relented, and the whole time I wanted to die, and then I had to sleep over with him touching me the entire night, before waking up in the morning and having sex again and then anal. I rationalized it for months as if it wasn’t a sexual assault, because I could’ve said no. But I was too emotionally weak to do so, having dealt with two prior clear sexual assaults (which he knew about!).

All this to say that years later, I so clearly view coercion as rape, not least because those men know exactly what they’re doing. Those are predators looking for the weakest prey, just ones they don’t have to use physical violence to subdue. I strongly believe they get off on wearing a woman down to the point where her will is subsumed by his.

Sexual coercion should be punished the same as rape, and in some ways those predators should be seen as more sadistic due to their plotting and persistence.

[–] Itzpapalotl 21 points Edited

It would be very very hard to prove.

I’ve been coerced into many things I didn’t want to do, I blame myself for not being stronger in several of those situations. It takes looking back, years later, thinking “that shouldn’t have happened, he shouldn’t have done that”

In one of those situations the man said “I could rape you” and I was terrified. We were alone, in an enclosed space, I was off my medication and not thinking straight (it was, I assume, very obvious I was extremely vulnerable and unstable). I did my best to de escalate the situation. He didn’t rape me but I did some things I wouldn’t have done if not threatened and afraid.

It’s taken years to even type that out. It’s a he said, she said situation. No evidence.

Even with actual rape, unless the rape is a particular kind of violent, there is little proof. Men know this. They have all the power.

All rape is basically like this, especially in the era of BDSM. “Innocent until proven guilty” means rape is decriminalized. The only way to know if something was rape is to ask the victim. And our male legal system doesn’t take “she said it was” as proof enough.

Yeah, this is why most women don’t report rape or sexual assault. Plus we tend to minimise things because male predatory behaviour is so normalised and just part of life for us.

I and each of my friends have many times been violated by men and shrugged it off. Reporting rape seems like more trauma and trouble that is unlikely to get you any justice anyway. It’s very depressing.

[–] SecondSkin 13 points Edited

It already is in the UK. Sex by coercion is rape here.

Of course, when our rape conviction rate sits at a beyond miserable 1.7% it feels like practically all rape is ‘decriminalised’, if that makes sense.

FRIES: consent should be given freely, reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific. If you use this model then any and all sex by coercion is rape.

I said "yes, but.."

However, I think the best solutions to the problem of sexual coercion don't have much to do with criminal justice. They're about teaching girls/women to have boundaries, making housing affordable, etc etc. So I don't really see criminalizing it (where it's not already criminal) as a priority.

Rape isn’t criminalized or taken seriously though.

We need to take the "more severely than rape" option to mean "more severely than rape SHOULD be criminalized" I guess ...

What do you mean by sexual coercion? I'd say forcing women to shower with men is sexual coercion and it has full-throated supported from the state.

Sexual coercion is rape. Period. What else could rape mean? We could also have a category called, say, aggravated rape, or apply additional charges for rape plus assault, if there's a need to distinguish between levels of violence.

This would, of course, require that the legal system starts to recognize that consent under duress isn't real in sexual circumstances, as it already acknowledges duress in contract law. I don't know enough about the law to know how difficult this change would be.

I said yes, but I am assuming you mean like "Have sex with me or I kick you out to live in the street" and not "Have sex with me or I am breaking up with you" the latter of which is obnoxious but not life-threatening.

I would consider the latter to be sexual coercion, yes, absolutely. How many women are traumatized gritting through sex they don’t want because they know there’s a quota they have to meet to be lovable? I don’t think that’s okay or should be allowed. The effect is the same.

There could be a sliding scale for more dire threats.

Yes. It’s the same as rape in my opinion, because it takes the other party’s right away to choose and consent themselves to the sexual act being committed. Sexual coercion is just as reprehensible as rape in my book.

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