chapter  7
Our Costs and Their Benefits
Pages 12

For several years we have been fighting to get rape recognised as an act of violence committed by men as a class on women as a class. This struggle has been difficult because we have been up against the judicial system and, in addition, a prevalent ideological conception that rape is a ‘sexual act’ committed by a man with a woman. Non-consent by the woman supposedly constitutes the only illegal thing about rape as a practice.2 In most cases the woman’s non-consent is denied, and the Law aims to prove the sexual act was desired, invited or sought by her. Parallel to this supposed desire by women, statements are made (by the judicial system and the mass media) that affirm a particular picture of men-as natural predators with over-developed sexual instincts.3