Victims of Rape “May Enjoy Intercourse,” According to Indonesian Judge

*Trigger warning: This post discusses rape culture and victim blaming language and might be upsetting.

2012 was not a good year in regards to rape culture and victim-blaming attitudes. We heard some pretty nasty comments that completely ignored the suffering of rape and sexual assault survivors.

Rape culture appears to be fueled by ignorance, as many of the comments showed. Self-nominated rape expert Todd Akin claimed that there is such a thing as “legitimate rape,” and California Judge Derek Johnson said that “the body does not allow rape to happen.” Rep. Roger Rivard passed on his father’s advice by stating that “some girls rape easy.”

This year has begun equally poorly, as another completely ignorant man in a position of authority and power has spoken out about rape and rape victims. This time, it is Judge Muhammad Daming Sanusi, who told Indonesian high court lawmakers that victims of rape ”may enjoy intercourse.”

In a discussion concerning the death penalty for rapists, Sanusi said that “Both the victims of rape and the rapist might have enjoyed their intercourse together, so we should think twice before handing down the death penalty.”

By calling rape intercourse, Sanusi suggests that rape can be consensual. This denies  horrific reports, traumatic events, and accounts of forceful and violent experiences of rape survivors. Rape should not be called sex, or intercourse, or for that matter anything other than rape. Rape is forced on the person, is not the least bit consensual, and not the least bit enjoyable.

Sexual Assault Laws That Discriminate Against Women

Every now and then we read or hear about outrageous laws dedicated to protect patriarchy, defend rape culture, restrict women’s sexuality, or that are just plain discriminatory. We have three examples of such outrageous laws and proposals. One has been overturned (Italy’s rape law); one is being considered (Indonesia’s motorcycle law); and one continues to be both discriminatory and horribly sexist (Iran’s rape law).

The province of Aceh in Indonesia is proposing that women riding behind a man on a motorcycle should no longer be allowed to straddle the bike, since this might “provoke the driver.” A woman riding on her own may straddle the bike, but only if she is wearing proper attire. Not only is the law absurd in its own and reminiscent of the days when women had to ride “sidesaddle” on horses, but it also seems that “side saddling” a motorcycle could be a great safety hazard. The proposal also infers that in order for men to not to get “excited” and act on that excitement, women need to control their sexuality, while men are assumed to not be able to–or need to–control theirs.  [Read more...]