*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.