I don’t pretend to know the truth one way or another about the Kobe Bryant case…This woman could be just trying to capitalize on the wealth and fame of a sports celebrity. She could have a legitimate complaint. She could be merely embarrassed that she engaged in sexual activity and then thought better of it later. She could feel that she wanted to stop, but wasn’t strong enough to say so.
Regardless, all i do know is that often there are gray areas, and that this case has brought up some interesting issues.
The thing that interests me is the dynamic of screaming rape when there is some question as to definition. To me, rape can be defined as penetration of any kind in either genital orifice, against the will of the person being penetrated.
The question then becomes one of what I mean by “against the will of.” If a woman places herself in a sexual situation, she is essentially expressing a permission to at least engage in SOME amount of sexually oriented activity, even if it is only kissing or touching. She is then responsible for being clear about what her intentions and limits are. Should she change her mind or reach her own boundary, which she has a perfect right to do, and then does not have the personal power to say “Stop” or “No” firmly and clearly, how is the other person to know that the situation has changed, when all other signals have told him otherwise?
Therefore, when a woman begins a process of sexual activity, and then remains mum when she changes her mind, there can be no rape, unless you say she has essentially raped herself…If she knows she is not strong enough to communicate her own will, then she has no business placing herself in any sexual situation to begin with.
This assessment does not include, naturally, situations in which the woman is incapable of speaking or communicating, incapacitated, incompetent, or not of the age of consent. Those situations fall into other categories.
A friend of mine told the story of someone she knew who had an applicable situation happen to her. This woman got drunk with a male friend, and the two of them went back to one of their houses, and she consented–actually requested–that he perform oral on her. Some time during the process, she passed out, and he was just drunk enough not to notice or not to care, and he then had intercourse with her. The next day,the girl stated, she questioned him when she awoke and found him naked from the waist down. He admitted openly what had happened. The girl then decided she had been raped. Now this is a prime example of what I’m talking about. Getting drunk was her responsibility; getting sexual with him was her responsibility; inviting him to perform oral on her was, too, and the mere fact that she opened herself up to him by asking and by removing her clothes, indicated clearly that she was open to sexual activity. How did he know she meant that was the only type of sexual activity? That she passed out is a moot point, since she was the one who allowed herself to get drunk in the first place.
Now if this situation had been a bit different, such as, the woman told him they were going back to her place to sleep it off, directed him to a sofa, and their clothes remained on, and there were no sexual invitations…then what he did would then be considered rape. Especially if she had said no and he did it anyway; but also if she had been unconscious and he took advantage. This in no way releases her from her responsibility in that she voluntarily became incapacitated, but that does not mean she deserved to be raped.
There are also situations in which a woman allows herself to be raped, such as when her children, sleeping in the next room, are threatened, and she chooses to be violated rather than endanger them. This is still rape.
Then there’s that issue of women who dress provocatively and flirt, and men who think this is a license to have sex with them, even if the women say No. Men are responsible for behaving themselves as well and cannot use a woman’s teasing or moral turpitude or revealing clothing as an excuse to force sex upon them–this would be rape. Women of this ilk do generally create unfortunate circumstances for themselves by constantly “stirring the coals” as it were. Our behavior has repercussions. That’s the law of Cause and Effect: Karma. They should be willing to take responsibility for at least perpetuating the situation. But i still do not buy the argument that they “had it coming” or “wanted it.” Unless, of course, they state that they DO or DID.
Essentially, i don’t like it when women tease and manipulate men, when they have no intention of follow-through, just as i don’t like men who blame their misbehavior on their “manhood.”