Words matter. Which is why we really need to axe the ridiculous expression “non-consensual sex”. Because “sex” is when a couple of willing, hopefully happily excited folks get naked and have grown-up fun times. That thing that happens when one person forces a part of their body into a part of someone else’s body is a criminal act and we have a word for it. Rape.
If someone breaks into my home and steals my television, have I just participated in “non-consensual sharing”? If the person kills me in the process, have I experienced “non-consensual death”?
What if I knew the accused? What if I had actually had sex with the accused the day before he broke into my house? Would this make being robbed and murdered slightly less criminal?
What if I knew the guy AND it could be proven that I had let him watch my television a few times? For free. Willingly. Perhaps I had even coaxed him into my home with tantalizing promises of popcorn with real butter. Would this make the whole robbery and murder thing more difficult to prove in court?
What if witnesses took the stand at trial and revealed that I had a bad habit of leaving my doors unlocked? What if photos proved that my television could be easily viewed from the sidewalk outside of my house? Would this ‘evidence’ cast doubts on the nature of the crime? Would jurors start to wonder if the poor guy had just mis-read my signals?
And what if the guy who took my television was famous!?!
Would being robbed and murdered by a celebrity be different than being robbed and murdered by a commoner? Would the media report about a ‘scandal’ instead of a crime? And would those reports focus mostly on the health of the accused and how the whole experience had impacted on his career and his public reputation?
The law has words for the illegal actions of individuals. Robbery. Murder. Rape. These are clear, simple terms we all understand. So let’s use them.