Posts Written by Amy

Since when is rape a “sex scandal”?

A SYTYCB entry

A version of this piece appeared on my personal blog Great Scott, A.

Despite the common recognition that sex and rape are not the same, why does the media refer to incidents that solely involve sexual assaults and abuse as “sex scandals”? In my mind, a sex scandal involves two (possibly more) adults engaging in consensual sex acts and for whatever reason, they should not be doing so. The “scandal” is that the fact that they are engaging in sexual acts and that this information has been made public. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. Sure, you could make an argument that his powerful position may have influenced the situation, but it was clearly not rape. Other examples of “sex scandals” that follow the logic of the term: videos or pictures of celebrities having sex, Anthony Weiner tweeting pictures of his crotch, Herman Cain’s former mistress making it public that he was unfaithful or John Ensign’s skeevy attempt to hush his mistress by having his parents pay off her husband. Those are scandals that involve sex or sex acts perpetrated by consenting adults. They are all VERY different from sexual assault, rape and sexual abuse.
I understand that the term “scandal” can mean anything from:

1.a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc. offense caused by a fault or misdeed.

3.damage to reputation; public disgrace.

4.defamatory talk; malicious gossip.

5.a person whose conduct brings disgrace or offense.