Here Is Why There Is No Difference Between “Coerced Sex” And Rape

Thanks to the feminist wave running down this generation, we are overcoming the prejudices that women have been suffering since time immemorial. The notion that a woman is not entitled to have rights on her own body or that any violation to her modesty is invoked by her own actions, is slowly giving way to the acceptance of the term-consent. We have come a long way from when people would laugh at marital rape, because apparently it is a non-existent issue. Although we are yet to acknowledge it as a punishable crime in the Indian penal Code but the general public is slowly getting used to the idea.

For far too long, a woman was told that she loses ownership of her own body if she acts out of the social codes or if she is way too modern for the society.

All in all, she was told that she can never really be the victim, because of her assumed participation is sexual assault by dressing, talking, walking or dancing a certain way. We now understand that a woman has the right to consent. The sentence from the film, ‘Pink’ rings in the ears of the Indian audience even now that a ‘no’ is a statement that needs no justification.

But perhaps, this too has given way to a certain amount of misunderstanding. So, a no is a no. Loud and clear. A yes is a yes. But what does the absence of no amount to? This blurred line is what has been manipulated by some men to get their way without dealing with the guilt. Now, before someone crams how not all men are the same, I would want to clarify all over again that the topic of discussion is the men who assault women but aren’t convicted for the same.

Let us take a scenario. So, a woman in the pub is too drunk to even act sane, so her male friend offers to leave her at her place. Now, she leaves the pub with a man that she can trust. On the way, the man makes advances on her, and she doesn’t show any signs of resisting. So, there is an absence of a firm no and there are no physical signs of rape. Does this pass of a night of drunk sex?

Another scenario. A man constantly pestering his girlfriend about how even though ‘he is a nice guy’ and the relationship is mature enough, he is still made to wait. Now, even though the girl has made it clear that she is not ready for physical intimacy as of now, he constantly nags and compares her with other girls and say how she is being unfair to him or tells her that she might lose him over this. Now, this plus the peer pressure makes her do something that she isn’t comfortable with.

Now, this scenario can be also seen in the light of marriage. So, technically the man doesn’t forcefully penetrate into his wife’s vagina but he constantly makes her guilty about not letting him enjoy the nuptial bliss. He is told how her not being ready to consummate the marriage is unfair to him. In both this cases, a woman is coerced into giving her consent even though she isn’t willing to.

Her own actions, is slowly giving way to the acceptance of the term – consent.

We have come a long way from when people would laugh at marital rape, because apparently it is a non-existent issue. Although we are yet to acknowledge it as a punishable crime in the Indian penal Code but the general public is slowly getting used to the idea.

When we accept the significance of ‘no’, we have to understand that the absence of a conscious ‘yes’ isn’t consent. When a woman is coerced into having sex when she isn’t ready, it’s rape. When a woman isn’t in a position to resist sexual advances, it’s rape. What we fail to realize is that there is no such thing as coerced sex or non-consensual sex, it is rape, fair and square.

 

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