I deleted the gazillion exclamation marks I originally had in the title and left two.
How does this happen in 2012 in Connecticut?
In a 4-3 ruling Tuesday afternoon, the Connecticut State Supreme Court overturned the sexual assault conviction of a man who had sex with a woman who “has severe cerebral palsy, has the intellectual functional equivalent of a 3-year-old and cannot verbally communicate.” The Court held that, because Connecticut statutes define physical incapacity for the purpose of sexual assault as “unconscious or for any other reason. . . physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act,” the defendant could not be convicted if there was any chance that the victim could have communicated her lack of consent. Since the victim in this case was capable of “biting, kicking, scratching, screeching, groaning or gesturing,” the Court ruled that that victim could have communicated lack of consent despite her serious mental deficiencies:Let me check the calendar . . . yep I was right, it's 2012 NOT 2 BCE when Biblical law said to be considered rape a woman had to scream.
- Think Progress
Well I guess we should consider ourselves fortunate that they do recognize that one can raped while unconscious, at least that brings CT up to the last decade of the 20th century.
In the late 1970s when the cop assigned to high school outreach in the Denver Public Schools came to talk to us about rape we were specifically told that if in our judgement fighting, screaming etc. would get us killed it was far better for us NOT to and come out alive.
He also told the guys "NO, means No" not "kinda yes." Everything stops when she says "No" . . . he was ahead of his time (I wish I could remember his name)
But see, we are in 2012 where a 28 year old man can rape a woman with cerebral palsy, who cannot verbally communicate, and who is restricted in her movement, and go free.
In a 4-3 decision, the high court ruled that despite evidence the 26-year-old woman cannot speak and has little body movement, there was no evidence she could not communicate her refusal to have sex with the defendant, Richard Fourtin Jr. As a result of the ruling, Fourtin goes free and cannot be tried for the case again.Oh well, see it's alright then, because had she really not wanted it she would have fought or screamed.
However, the defense argued that there was evidence the woman could communicate by biting, kicking, screaming and gesturing. They presented testimony at trial from a home health aide who said the woman would kick and groan if she didn't get food she wanted.
"We are not persuaded that the victim was either unconscious or so uncommunicative that she was physically incapable of manifesting to the defendant her lack of consent to sexual intercourse at the time of the alleged sexual assault," the high court ruled Monday.You know what she also didn't do? Say YES.
- Conneticut Post
Why is the absence of a negation considered an affirmative, but the absence of an affirmative is not considered a negative?
“biting, kicking, scratching, screeching, groaning or gesturing,”Or it's not really rape . . . right? Along with the Republican war on women wanting to take us back decades, if not a century, we now have to re-fight what rape is?
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), lack of physical resistance is not evidence of consent, as “many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent.” RAINN also notes that lack of consent is implicit “if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect” as the victim did in this case.This isn't even about redefining what rape is. This is going back to the age old constructs that kept women from reporting rape, right down to slut shaming. "Good girls don't get raped." Additionally, not only does this undermine what our understanding of what rape is and how we teach women to respond and resist, but it is also discriminatory. The disabled held to a higher standard when reporting (and proving) rape including, but not limited to, discouraging prosecution of the crime.
How many women have heard "you must of liked it, you didn't fight back?" How many will hear it again because this ruling just reinforces that attitude.
If we're going to go back to the troupe that she should have fought back, how long it is before the other sickness we heard that was once common place, will we hear again?
"She may have a child's mind but she has a woman's body. And that body wants it."
"The 3 year old seduced me."
"I took pity on her, who else was going to fuck her?"
"It was really a mercy fuck."
"She didn't say "No."
"Her mouth said 'no,' but her body said 'yes.'"
Rape isn't about sex, it's about rage and power.
Even for a 26 year old woman with cerebral palsy.