Activists have been pushing for a new definition for years, but the issue went into high gear in February, after Representative Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) attempted to make women who hadn’t been raped “forcibly” pay for their abortions out of pocket. The proposed new definition is far more to the advocates’ liking, and far closer to reality: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
Visit Stephanie’s for further analysis, but stay for the comments — especially those by Clarence, a sexist douchesplainer intent on proving to us (via handwaving and claims of “empirical” legal expertise) that this is a slippery slope that will lead to tens of millions of arrests of people who are otherwise innocent. Or, well, not-prosecutable by today’s legal standards, if not actually guilt-free. Seriously, the conversation is priceless. So priceless in fact, that Stephanie had to deconstruct the entire argument just to answer one of Clarence’s charges post-flounce.
Elsewhere on Freethought Blogs, my friend and colleague Greg Laden is reviving his friend and colleague Sheril Kirschenbaum’s Silence is the Enemy Campaign from 2009. I’m going to do likewise, first by reposting my major contribution to that campaign, and as work allows, by writing more on the subject sometime between now and the end of next week.