[T]his one time about nine years ago I got locked out of my house and went home with some vaguely smarmy hair-product using type from my ex-boyfriend’s frat. I had slept with maybe two or three guys prior to that — it was the summer between sophomore and junior year of college — so when he, after about a half hour of fooling around, put on a condom I was like, “Whooooah, what are you doing?” But I’d had two forties and I kept drifting in and out of consciousness — my tolerance, obviously, wasn’t what it is today — and I woke up to find him sticking it in. I’d said ‘no’ a bunch of times and when I came to I just froze, stopped, turned over and slept. In the morning I chewed him out (by informing him I wasn’t putting him on “my list” — oh no she didn’t!) and after that he kissed my ass so liberally I thought he might have learned from it.
In other words,
she was raped he raped her.
Jezebel readers kindly pointed this out in comments. Moe responds,
Well, yes, technically it was, but I can empathize with the desire to find a word to differentiate it from the type of rape that, you know, actually SCARS you. I always used “date rape” before.
“Date rape” is still rape, only the rapist is someone you know. It’s still a crime.
Moe also says, “Sigh. It’s a personal story, and that’s how I dealt.”
Calling it what it is — RAPE — doesn’t mean you have to have a specific reaction to it. No one is requiring you to be traumatized. In fact, I’m really happy to hear that this experience didn’t seem to cause her much pain. But the definition of rape doesn’t change depending on how you feel afterward. Rape is a nonconsensual sexual act. “That time you fucked that guy you didn’t really want to fuck” is a better description of consensual sex that you later regret. (Which, of course, isn’t rape.)
This is why the Cosmo article and the whole Laura Sessions Stepp “gray rape” concept are such bad news. It creates a new category that suggests it’s not-quite-rape if you say “no” while drunk, or you say “no” to intercourse after you’ve said “yes” to making out. To not straight-up call it rape diminishes it and excuses it. It goes from a crime to simply impolite or bad behavior.
I think it’s possible to call a crime a crime without assuming a “victim” role. As Shakes writes, “to be a survivor of rape does not have to mean shame and brokenness and guilt, that it is brave, not weak, to say, plainly: “I was raped.”"