Friday, July 4, 2014

Redefining Rape: Sexual Penetration Without "Knowing Consent"

In addition to sexual sanctity defined as "the right to contraception," society needs to address the criminal concept of rape or sexual assault, today's more politically correct term. Either could be defined as penetration without knowing consent, rather than the complicated constructs in penal code. Lack of continuity from state to state, alone, indicates that there's a gross failure to establish appropriate conduct in society.

Duplicity invalidates consent in all human interaction. Criminal code penalizes the use of duplicity in depriving a victim of their worldly goods, but in most states, depriving them of their self determination regarding sexual penetration is not dealt with. The line of demarcation between seduction and rape is VALID consent, yet punishing offenders is all too rare.

Whether by use of dope, alcohol, physical overpowering, preying on underage victims, or preying on people who are mentally deficient, all forms of criminally penalized rape lack knowing consent. Why then does "rape by fraud," which lacks knowing consent, get penalized in only a handful of states? Is it because our legislators want to preserve their ability to seduce people by lying or distorting? Is it because the many voters who used ploys to circumvent a victim's consent are so numerous they could diminish the chances of re-election?

Even Socrates was aware of the harm in rape by fraud: "Then again, the fact that he uses not force but persuasion makes him most detestable because a lover who forces himself is a villain, but one who uses persuasion ruins the character of the one who consents."

Hats off to Dateline for covering a recent case of rape by fraud in New Jersey, in which charges were brought against William Allen Jordan, a convicted bigamist and child molester. Society needs awareness of this defiling behavior in real life situations, not only in comedies like "Think Like a Man" or the drama of "Mad Men." Both depict cases of rape by fraud.

The blame for rape by fraud  is commonly laid at the feet of the victim for being "gullible" rather than the offender for preying on people who simply, like all of humanity, want to be loved. Being gullible is not a crime. Raping someone is. The offender knows they are conducting duplicity. The awareness or lack of it, by the victim, does not entitle the offender to take what is not rightfully theirs, as in every other case of criminally penalized fraud.