It's still rape, even if you don't call it rape

These infographics are startling but unsurprising. 

In my life, I've known many men and women - friends and relatives included - who have done things that I know to be rape. In my life, I've talked to many people who had been raped but couldn't quite - or didn't want to - connect the dots and say the word. 

One of the greatest victories of rape culture has been the vilification of the word "rape." Most people don't want to be rapists and no one wants to be raped. So, people - victims and rapists alike - will do everything possible to avoid using the word. 

They'll do things like avoid using force and just get the other person drunk. They'll abuse consent to restraint to make a person a prisoner. They'll use force or humiliation and excuse it because of their gender.

No matter how you try to makes these situations seem like less than they are, you can't. Alcohol is a date rape drug. Consent to one act is not consent to all acts. Coercion is not consent - regardless of gender or any other extenuating circumstances. 

When we allow these people to justify or reword their rapes as something other, it teaches other rapists how to rape and get away with. It teaches them that all they have to do is be good at PR and they can rape with impunity. It teaches people that rape is negotiable. It isn't. 

Luckily - of there is anything lucky - is that many people who genuinely don't believe that what they do is rape will openly admit it. That means, we can use that to avoid them. 

a direct link to the Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid



  1. College Men: Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists,Lisak and Miller, 2002 [PDF, 12 pages]
  2. Navy Men: Lisak and Miller’s results were essentially duplicated in an even larger study (2,925 men): Reports of Rape Reperpetration by Newly Enlisted Male Navy Personnel, McWhorter, 2009 [PDF, 16 pages]

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