When does "I'll claw your eyes out" mean "No"?

seriously, doesn’t anyone know of a single date rape story where the attacked fought back?

“So you’re telling me that some guy just showed you a knife and demanded your wallet, and you just gave it to him? Why didn’t you make him stab you? I’m sorry, sir, but unless you can show me some sort of knife wound, I’m afraid I can’t really consider this a crime.”

  1. Yes, there are cases of date rape in which the woman fights back.

  2. There are also cases where the threat of violence is explicit, and the woman does not fight back. Similarly, there are cases of stranger rape where the woman does not fight back in the face of an explicit threat. This is still rape.

  3. There are also cases where the threat of violence is implicit, and the woman does not fight back. This is still rape.

  4. There are also cases where the woman is deprived of the ability to consent, typically through drugs or alcohol. This is still rape.

  5. There are also cases where the woman is subjected to social pressure, or both the man and the woman are drunk or drugged, and there is a genuine disagreement about who consented to what, and what the parties were really intending. These cases are more problematic, and some circumstances fit the definition of date rape. I didn’t follow the similar thread on date rape, and I’m sure there’s a lot of disagreement about what particular set of circumstances qualifies as “rape” in most people’s minds. However, a good rule of thumb is to always request informed consent from your partner. Sounds a little legalistic, but I think everyone understands what it means – be sure that your partner wants what you want.
    I reject your implied standard that if you don’t fight back, you weren’t really raped.

Implied? Maybe he was just wondering why noone fights back.

The short answer?
you react how you train.
If you prepare yourself to react to a situation, you will most likely do just what you prepared. e.g. Law enforcement officers who trained solely on stationary paper targets while standing at a range table had an alarming habit of standing up and assuming a Weaver stance to return fire- lotsa fatalities till PPC and IDPA training came into effect.

If you do nothing to prepare, that is most likely what will happen when confronted with a threat.
When a threat occurs, your body and brain go into instinct mode. Your pulse quickens, adrenaline is dumped into your bloodstream, your vision markedly constricts, and you in many cases lose control of a lot of your calm rationalizing behavior.
It’s still there, it’s just sitting on the sidelines watching.

Yeah i guess he was implying that no-one fights back. On the other he atleast left open the possibility that there were stories and he just hadden’t heard them.

Where do you get the idea no-one fights back? Do both parties have to be black and blue before it can be believed there was a struggle? If the man is larger, and has more upper body strength than the woman- not a uncommon situation in humans- he may be able to physically overpower her before she can do any damage to him.And without needing to do any damage to her beyond what he might claim as evidence of rough but consentual sex.

I imagine most women put up some kind of physical resistence- which is not to say on the other hand that many rape victems don’t, out of fear of greater physical harm, out of physical and emotional intimidation, etc.

The start of this thread was not that well thought out. I had posted to another Date Rape thread and then read the one titled something like “when does ‘no’ mean ‘no’”. It is just kind of frustrating for me, because whenever I get the nerve up to ask someone who might have some appropriate experience why they didn’t fight back I don’t get much of an answer.

I didn’t fight back.

  1. The guy was bigger than me and had said he would use physical force if necessary. Since he pinned me down and I struggled, and he continued to pin me down, I believed that he would hit me (or worse) if I gave him reason.

  2. I don’t like getting hit. Getting hit (and possibly broken bones) seemed worse than non-consensual sex. That doesn’t mean I consented, it just means I’d rather have sex than get beat up and have sex anyway. Still rape in my book.

  3. I didn’t feel I had a realistic chance to fight him off (i.e. no mace, no idea what to do with my hands other than beat them uselessly against his chest)

I then took a self defense course and dated with mace in my purse. I also was NEVER alone with a man I didn’t trust and where sex would have at least had the possibility of being consentual (i.e. no first date “care to come in” from me).

And yes, I know of plenty of date rape stories where the woman fought back. In some cases, without getting raped (my mother knocked a guy out cold with a coke bottle when she was dating, then ran to the gas station and called her dad to pick her up). And in some cases, they got raped anyway.

Perhaps because that question can be interpreted as blaming the victim. Whether you intend it or not, teh phrasing lends itself to some inferences that are both painful and offensive to a person who has been through a potentially devastating ordeal.

Do you go around asking the same question to people who have been mugged, kidnapped, or beaten up in schoolyards?

I am probably opening up a can of worms I shouldn’t, but reading this one struck me - what if both parties are drunk/on drugs? Is it still rape?
My question is based on two legal premises: 1) men can be raped by women; and 2) when under the influence of drugs/alcohol, you cannot consent (unless you explicitly/impliedly gave consent prior to becoming drunk).
So, assuming neither party gave consent prior to imbibing, either no rape occurred, or both parties raped each other.
Someone please point out the flaw in my reasoning – I don’t like the result.



Here’s my position:

Imagine that someone has sex with someone whom he thinks is consenting, but is actually being forced (by others) to consent to it, without his knowledge. Is this rape? I would say no. But what if he knew the true circumstances? I would think it would be.

I would think that rape can be defined as having sex with someone who you know is unwilling to, without the force being applied. In the case where one party is drunk, I would not define it as rape unless the “rapist” knew that the victim would likely not consent were she (or he) not drunk. Otherwise it’s just an unfortunate misunderstanding.

Under this standard, there would be no difference if both parties were drunk. If one of the drunken parties knew that the other would not likely not consent were they not drunk, I would still consider it rape. But if this standard is not met, I would not consider it rape in any event.

Thank you, Dangerosa.

No, every woman who has ever been faced with rape has flopped down on her back and said “bring it on, stud.”


Not worthy of a more in-depth response.

Sua, I’m sure the fellow Georgetown student who raped me freshman year was drunk when it occurred. I, however, was drunk to the point of being unconscious - woke up halfway through. Did I also rape him? I don’t think so. Did I fight back? No - I was too incapacitated. But I did vomit all over him as soon as it was done.

The telling of that story ,in my eyes (and I hope others), shows considerable strength!

I admire and applaud that.

(I hope you, some how, got back at the bastard!)

Well, I don’t know about that, but I will plead guilty to not putting in some background context before starting this tread.

I had been reading another thread titled Date Rape

Another thread started called ‘when does no mean no?’. To me, no means no. No clothes worn by a woman; no money paid for dinner, presents; no long acquaintance; no previous foreplay entitle a man to sex. But if the guy doesn’t stop when you say no, what then? It was with that question in mind that I started this thread, which is evidently has too jocular a title for this heavy subject.

Let me make a few more points before I quit to do some work. I hope to return and justify further my comments on this topic.

I dont think this AT ALL.

“So you’re telling me that some guy just showed you a knife and demanded your wallet, and you just gave it to him? Why didn’t you make him stab you? I’m sorry, sir, but unless you can show me some sort of knife wound, I’m afraid I can’t really consider this a crime.”

If I am brave enough, I may try to justify why I think it would be beneficial (for example, why I might council my daughters to do this, and why I would be glad if my sons lived in an environment where the daughters where socialized this way) to resist strongly in cases of acquaintance rape, but my arguments WILL NOT apply to cases of stranger rape. Of course, resistance there may also be beneficial, but the implied thread of deadly violence is so much greater than from an acquantance (dating acquaintance) that I wouldn’t want to make the same argument as in acquaintance rape.

does that count?

I always felt that “date rape” sorta described a situation that was a little subtler than one that calls for “fighting back”.

I’ve never been entirely comfy with the term for that reason. You gotcher rape, you gotcher stupid submission to sex you didn’t really want because you’re a wimpy chick that let herself be manipulated. My experience fell into the latter category, although I feel pretty confident that if Gloria Steinem were watching, she would call it “date rape” and if Andrea Dworkin were watching, she’d call it attempted-murder-by-penis.

I’ll throw it out there for you guys:

The year is 1974. I’m 16. I’m leading kind of a semi-sleazy life in Hollywood, very much sleeping around because I’m an unhappy girl and an idiot. Hanging with a bad element.

Some girl I know suggests we hang with some sailors who are in town for the night (no, I’m not making this up). We meet 'em, we go back to their hotel, I’m pretty sure I’m high on something or other. He gets me in the teeny-tiny bathroom, starts putting moves on me, I’m like “no, no, no, I don’t want to”, and struggling a little, and if I’m not mistaken, i actually bang my head on the edge of the tub. I think I recall feeling a little bit fearful.

He’s pushy as hell, but not “violent”, doesn’t threaten me in any way, just doesn’t let up or let me go. Even though I am not the slightest bit attracted to the guy or interested in having sex with him, I figure to myself “Hey, I’ve been sleeping around all over the place, what’s one more? Not worth fighting over, he’ll be done quickly.” and he is. I leave, feeling like a piece of shit.

But I don’t dwell on it, it doesn’t ruin my life, I don’t end up in therapy for years, afraid to love or anything like that. it was just icky. Of course, today I’d be apoplectic at the very idea, but I’m so much older, wiser, more self-assured, and terrified of AIDS that I would never allow myself to end up in that situation.

As the years roll by, the term “date rape” comes into vogue, and I decide that the term is a good description of what happened that night. What do you guys think?


sorry, that got submitted before I was done editing.

I realize that on a message board, no one knows what kind of person I am, nor can hear the tone of my voice. I also realize that I may not have expressed myself as good as I could with more words, so I understand a little why to some of you I might sound like a Sadist.

Still, I appreciate it when people in their judgement of you err on the side decent/misunderstood rather than monster.


Well, since I was the one who first misunderstood your question, I hope to be the first to apologize for doing so and getting the conversation off on the wrong foot.

Doug, you did not choose to respond to me, but I think this is what I did.

Hmmm. My question to you is why you would consider that not rape? I don’t think your angst takes away his blame in the matter. How could he non-forcefully “not let you go”? I think many people in that situation would feel particularly threatened, even if you (at the time) saw it as just another lay, albeit one you didn’t want.

On the other hand, the oft-used “You can’t rape the willing” might apply here. Not to me, though, I think you made your intentions clear enough. A forceful response shouldn’t be necessary, and your submission to the event was not permission.