rape

North Carolina — already not considered a democracy and characterized as more a dictatorial entity on par with Cuba and Indonesia — managed, with a fateful decision by the state Supreme Court in 1977, to pass a law allowing the legal rape of women who revoke consent to sex once the act has been initiated.

If actual, sexual penetration occurs under the banner of consensuality, that agreement to have sex cannot — according to North Carolina law for decades — be suddenly revoked, even if a man turns violent.

“If the actual penetration is accomplished with the woman’s consent, the accused is not guilty of rape, although he may be guilty of another crime because of his subsequent actions,” the North Carolina Supreme Court wrote in its decades-old decision in State v. Way.

“It’s really stupid,” understated 19-year-old Aaliyah Palmer — who allegedly agreed to sex — but revoked consent when the man she’d met at a party turned violent — to the Fayetteville Observer. “If I tell you no and you kept going, that’s rape.”

Palmer understandably surmised her brutal encounter amounted to rape — as it did — but discovered to her astonishment state law disagreed.

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Now, a new bill seeks to jolt the fraught Southern state into the 21st Century — making legal rape illegal again.

“Legislators are hearing more and more about women who have been raped and are being denied justice because of this crazy loophole,” asserted North Carolina Senator Jeff Jackson, who introduced a bill on March 30 — similar to another he attempted in 2015 — to append the misogynistic law.

Jackson proposes, according to the text of the bill, “a person may withdraw consent to engage in vaginal intercourse in the middle of the intercourse, even if the actual penetration is accomplished with consent and even if there is only one act of vaginal intercourse.”

Seems simple — and, frankly, logical — enough.

“This really shouldn’t be a controversial matter,” Jackson opined to Broadly. “North Carolina is the only state in the country where no doesn’t really mean no. Right now, if a woman tells a man to stop having sex he is under no legal obligation to do so, as long as she initially consented. If sex turns violent, the woman has no right to tell the man he must stop.”

Let that last part sink in for a moment: A man in North Carolina can forcibly complete a sex act with a woman — even if he employs violence to get his way.

That’s rape by nearly any definition — except in the eyes of the repressive Southern state.

“Very few legislators are aware that this is the current state of our law,” lamented Jackson, who first encountered the anachronistic, justice-slaying law as a prosecutor when his office had to dismiss a rape charge for extenuating circumstances in line with the 1977 ruling. “They’re very surprised when I tell them. Most of my conversations have been educating our members about this plainly unacceptable loophole in our rape law. I have not had any members defend the loophole. Every legislator I’ve spoken to agrees we need to fix this.”

Despite what should be unfettered support for a bill rescinding a man’s apparent ‘right’ to rape women, the state senator has received surprisingly resolute pushback — primarily from conservatives who view Jackson’s proposed legislation as interfering with natural intercourse.

Broadly explains many of the right-leaning legislators follow a traditionalist blog — which expounded oh-so eloquently on Jackson’s efforts recently,

“And the ‘rules’ of fornication are the ‘pressing issues of the day’ ????”

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Of this tripe, Jackson noted tellingly, “This is a blog that unfortunately carries some influence with many of our conservative members. When it does, my bet is it passes unanimously. No one can seriously defend this loophole in our rape law.”

Ethically and morally, it would be pleasant to believe Jackson’s latter statement a comforting truth — yet, for 38 years this law has been permitted to languish on the books — depriving an untold number of rape victims from justice, human rights, and basic common decency.

“Aside from perpetrators not being held accountable, when women cannot revoke consent, then we are telling them violence can be perpetrated against them if they consented to begin with and then had a change of heart,” Angelica Wind, an advocate and executive director of Our Voice — a North Carolina-based crisis intervention and prevention agency for victims of sexual violence — told Broadly, adding, “allowing women to revoke consent would be transformative for the state of North Carolina.”

According to Broadly, North Carolina Senate Bill 553 will likely be tabled — meaning Jackson would next year, once again, have to revive the campaign to make forced sexual intercourse rape again.

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Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter: @Subversive_Pen.
  • Damiana

    Yeah, this is pretty fucked up, but a fairly accurate view of female sexuality as seen by the nation that elected Herr Crotchengraben to be our leader.

    • BRANDONtheSNITCH

      If my daughter says no or stop the boy better stop. If not he will not ever be seen or found not even with a super team of Where’s Waldo world champs combined with ever person to ever play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.

  • Raimundo Gant

    dont have sex in north carolina

  • tz1

    Can I revoke my consent to be debt-raped by student loans in the last week of my 4th year of college?

    There is a very simple solution. Never say “Yes” in the first place. You can’t “withdraw” consent, and it isn’t a continuum.

    In a world where virginity is valued and consent is the matrimonial “I do” consent is easy to determine.

    In a world where prostitution is legal or accepted, where there’s a hookup culture, or where people click “I Agree” to a 55 page agreement on their phone without reading it, “Consent” isn’t something that is so easily determined.

    Where can I withdraw my “consent” to the Apple or Google rights and privacy raping agreements (and will they disable my devices?). Oh, I can’t, nor can I get out of my phone contract.

    (Note if there is violence, there can be assault or battery so we don’t have to decide if rape is involved).

    Then there’s the hoaxes like Rolling Stone’s Jackie.

    And the 7 months later I changed my mind of Emma Sulkowits, aka “Mattress Girl”. And here is the big problem is that there is a record of texts showing there was no withdrawl of consent in any reasonable time.

    What should men do? Record the entire sexual act to make sure the woman doesn’t run to police a few months later claiming rape, so that her lack of saying “No” will be recorded?

    Even worse (and I find this disgusting that so few seem to care), 14 year old girl – UNDERAGE – was RAPED by two illegal immigrants, there was blood and body fluids on the floor of the restroom they dragged her into, she reported it within one hour, but because she sent some salacious media a few days earlier to one of them, IT DIDN’T MATTER SHE DIDN’T WANT TO BE DRAGGED INTO A RESTROOM AND BE RAPED. No charges were filed. This was in Maryland. If you are going to criticize NC for a law that is hard enough to determine inital v.s continual consent, but fail to condemn Maryland for this STATUTORY RAPE THAT WASN’T PROSECUTED (who cares if there was or not a rape kit?), I’m just going to filter all accusations of rape as having to exceed this threshold.

    If two older male teenagers dragging a 14 year old into a restroom and doing multiple penetrations in multiple places, and there’s blood and she reports it immediately isn’t rape because of one lewd MMS a few days earlier, I dont’ know what might rise to the definiton of rape or non-cosensual sex.

  • IceTrey

    So if in the middle of sex the man withdraws consent but keeps on going to completion the woman is a rapist?