Posted at 1:40 PM Mar 17, 2010
By Andrea Grimes
What's scarier than the phrase "Cosmo investigates?" I'll tell you: "grey-rape."
Alongside their beauty tips, Man Manual and fashion spreads, Cosmo is taking on "grey rape." What's grey-rape? It's a product of hook-up culture (natch, because rape didn't happen until feminists got all pissed off about it), and it's a special kind of rape that is only kind-of sort-of rape, because the rapist might have known the rapee, or something, and she was drunk, and, oh well, it's all so GREY.
The article is in Cosmo's "Tips and Moves" section, along with "The Secret To Getting Any Guy," "His Favorite Time To Have Sex" and "PDA Moves He's Actually Okay With." So, once you've figured out how to make every man on earth happy, you can learn what to do if one of them kind of accidentally rapes you!
Blah blah blah, here's the lede:
... And it's a surprisingly common occurrence. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1 in 5 college women will be raped at some point during a five-year college career; that about 9 out of 10 times, the victim will know her assailant; and that half of all victims will not call what happened rape. Sixty-two percent of female rape victims in general say they were assaulted by someone they knew, which includes dates, acquaintances, and random hookups.It goes on for six pages, waffling with phrases like "blurred boundaries," speculating that it's today's loose sexual mores that have caused "grey rape" to happen, as if every rape that occurred before 1995 was committed by scary monster-men who jumped out of the bushes and raped unsuspecting virgins who screamed bloody murder the entire time.
Many experts feel that gray rape is in fact often a consequence of today's hookup culture: lots of partying and flirting, plenty of alcohol, and ironically, the idea that women can be just as bold and adventurous about sex as men are. How can something so potentially empowering become so damaging? Cosmo investigates.
The obligatory "don't get drunk" advice is included in the article (because as we know, sober women are never raped), but finally, on the last page, Cosmo prints the only paragraph they should have run at all. It's the paragraph that disproves every preceding page wherein rape is maybe kind of sort of not happening but maybe kind of sort of happening ...
Under the law, a guy has to get a clear verbal or nonverbal yes from you to have sex. Just because you consent to one sexual activity (making out, even with few clothes on) does not mean you have given permission for any other. Also, silence doesn't always equal consent, nor does being too drunk to know what you're doing.The reason these "grey rape" type articles are damaging is because they provide excuses for rapists and encourage victimized women to question their own sanity, decision-making skills, and self-worth. So please allow me to reiterate, to be more clear: There is no such thing as grey rape. If someone has sex with you without your consent, that is rape. If you are too intoxicated or impaired to consent, that is rape. If you say "no" quietly, that is rape. If you say "no" loudly, that is rape. Just because you do not say "no," that does not mean it was not rape. If you know the guy, but he has sex with you against your will, that is rape.