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15 April 2015 @ 09:27 pm
When a business deal goes sour  
I'm mystified by this.

This article has been in the news recently as the convicted rapist is appealing his sentence for raping a sex worker. His lawyers are arguing on the basis that there was a mistake of law made in the original trial; for there to be a rape, there had to be a lack of consent (or inability to consent) and in this case there was consent freely given.

I never understood the conviction in the first place. If you offer to buy my violin for $850, and I hand over the violin but you don't pay me, then you're basically guilty of fraud, obtaining goods by deception, theft... any of these fit, but because in this instance it's sex all of a sudden it's a whole different scale of offence? I don't get it. Sex is her livelihood, her commodity. She was defrauded by a trick and suddenly she feels that he violated her? So if there's cash involved, there's no violation? What if he'd only had half the promised money - would she be going after him for indecent assault instead? I'm all for working girls earning an honest quid but this case just has me puzzled.
Current Mood: grumpygrumpy
miwahni: Random Doesn't play well with othersmiwahni on April 16th, 2015 12:30 pm (UTC)
I suspect it calls for a different terminology to be available, because it also opens the door to the whole he-said-he-loved-me-so-I-had-sex-with-him-but-then-he-said-he-didn't-so-it-was-fraudulent-consent-so-its-rape argument, which would be a nightmare... This I agree with, and this is the precedent which I think has just been set. Only in this case it was he-said-he'd-give-me-money-but-he-reneged-so-it's-rape - even though there was no coercion, no physical or implied threat.

And yes, in her place I'd be pissed-off - no-one likes being cheated - and probably distrustful of men which may well impact on my ability to earn a living at my chosen profession, but I think if you're a working girl you've already disassociated consensual sex from the kind of emotions that would leave you feeling violated (although perhaps I presume too much). But in any case you've been duped, tricked, whatever. I just still hesitate to call it rape which has connotations of a power imbalance, helplessness and lack of control over the event etc.

I don't think that treating it as a financial contract would open the doors to other rapes of working girls being downgraded -we're still looking at the issue of consent, here, and in this case she agrees that she consented to the sex.

She could have claimed for intentional wrong under tort law and sought restitution plus damages, which would have been more financially rewarding to her. The whole thing is a contentious issue, though.