I'm watching an old season of MTV's Real World and there's one girl, i think about 21, who has a much lower tolerance than anyone else. From day 1, she talked about how she blacks out way more than she means to. And when she gets "black out" (as we see), random men start talking to her. All too often, these men are at least ten years her senior. And seemingly sober. He roommate sits her down after one of these nights saying she's nervous that someone might "take advantage of" her. Which is a common saying. You know, when a guy sees a really drunk girl at the bar and has sex with her, he's "taking advantage of her."
Except, no. No he's not. If he's sober, and he's preying on the drunk girl at the bar, if he goes after the drunk girl, takes her home and sleeps with her, that's rape. It is illegal by federal law to have sex with someone without their consent, and included in that law is the fact that you cannot legally give consent when you're incapacitated. That is not "taking advantage." Taking advantage is....buying things you don't need now but will later just because it's on sale. It's grabbing that $5 DVD you'll never watch just because it's in the checkout line. It is NOT sleeping with a woman because you know if she were sober she'd want nothing to do with you. That is NOT taking advantage. That is rape.
There's another euphemism for rape I can't stand. And that's date rape. Oh, you were raped by someone you knew? Ok, so it was just date rape. Yeah, like no bigs, I was just sexually assaulted, so it's totally okay to down play it by throwing the word "date" in front of it.
Rape is a physically violent act. Like any assault. Do we throw the term "date" in front of anything else? Like, oh i was totally "date robbed." I went on a date with this guy who got too drunk to go home, so after i let him sleep on my couch, he took all of my cash, credit cards, jewelry and keys. So it sucks but at least I wasn't really robbed. I was just date-robbed. Or what about date-carjacked? You know, when I was too drunk, so I let my boyfriend drive us home, except when we got back to my place, he kicked me out and stole my car. But, hey, it was my boyfriend, so that's like NBD.
Seriously, when a woman is assaulted by a friend, a date, a boyfriend, or husband, is it any less damaging? When someone is murdered by someone they know, do we throw the term "date" in front of it to show that it's not quite as bad as when a stranger does it.
Why do we ascribe so many euphemisms to rape?
Plain and simple. If someone says no to sex, he/she means NO. I don't care if the two people involved know each other. I don't care if one party is drunk. There is no such thing as "taking advantage of someone" there is no such thing as "date rape"
There is only RAPE
NO means STOP