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Date Rape: Don't cry wolf!

By: Donna McFadden

One in four women will be raped or sexually assaulted by the time they leave college according to a now classic 1985 study.

Psychologist Mary Koss conducted the study on behalf of Ms Magazine and interpreted the results. The study asked the question "Have you ever had sexual intercourse when you didn't want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?"

This question establishes women as naïve, innocent victims of those lecherous creatures known as men. Women who were brought up on MTV are naïve?

Katie Roiphe, author of "The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus," says, "This addresses the issue of agency. Why aren't college women responsible for their own intake of alcohol or drugs? A man may give her drugs, but she herself decides to take them." (This excludes the "date rape drugs," which are used by the woman without her knowledge or consent. Any time someone uses drugs in order to victimize another person, it is crime.)

Definitions of date rape are so broad and generalized that they include "verbally cajoling and persuading" a woman to have sex. Please! We all cajole and persuade.

If you accept the premise that a woman has been raped when she has been "verbally persuaded" to have sex with a man with whom she had no intention of having intimate relations, you insinuate that she does not have the ability to make up her own mind based on logic and persuasion. You are forced to conclude that men must, therefore, be intellectually superior to women.

If men are held legally responsible, even if both of them are drunk (excluding the use of force or violence), does this not imply that men are more responsible for their actions than the poor, weak-brained women? Does this not re-enforce the John Wayne stereotype of the man with strength of character, shielding the "little lady's virtue"?

Miscommunication seems to be one cause of most non-violent, "cajoling" date rapes. But this is not a country where we hide women. Women are teachers, lawyers, doctors, heads of large corporations. Women are senators and congressional representatives. Women today are active in every field and have established a strong foothold on the foundation of power in the nation.

Women should be very clear in their signals if they do not want a man to "come on" to them. Regardless of how many romance novels you read, men do not always know what the heck women wants from them.

Does date rape occur? Yes. Is it traumatizing? Undoubtedly. Is it always all the fault of the male? No. Women with normal libidos like sex just as much as men do. This has been an established fact for many years, but is still resisted, even by today's "feminists."

Why is it that if a woman decides to have sex with a man and later regrets it, she can sue him for "rape"? Just how far have we come as women? Is this an empowering move? Does it give a woman equal status? No! It diminishes society's perception of a woman's self-control.

Ironically, aside from being insulting, the use of a broad, sweeping definition of rape undermines the power that the word once conveyed as a crime, an accusation, or as a terrible tragedy to befall someone. It does nothing to aid the victims of what I will call "true date-rape," that being a non-consensual act where force or violence was used.

Rape and date rape are both products of hatred. There is no desire so overwhelming that a man cannot say "down, boy." But date rape involving "cajoling or persuasion" falls into the category of miscommunication, not rape. That is, if you accept the premise that a woman is a man's intellectual equal.

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