“If you kill a person, you’re a murderer. If you steal, no one would hesitate to call you a thief. But in America, when you force yourself on someone sexually, some people will jump through flaming hoops not to call you a rapist…’Sex’ isn’t nonconsensual. Only rape is. Conflating the two gives credence to the myth that rape is just a particular shade of sex, rather than a violent crime” (linked above).
“A widely accepted definition of rape—even a progressive, feminist one—will not change everything, and it won’t eradicate rape. But it is a necessary step to shift the culture. The reason we have qualifiers—legitimate, forcible, date, gray—is because at the end of the day it’s not enough to say ‘rape’. We don’t believe it on its own and we want to know what “kind” of assault it was in order to make a value judgment about what really happened—and to believe that it couldn’t happen to us. It’s not because most people are bad, or want to blame rape victims. Americans are simply too mired in misogyny…” (Ending Rape Illiteracy, Jessica Valenti 2012)