A couple lawmakers were pretty confused about rape this week.
First, Republican Utah state representative Brian Greene wondered if sex with an unconscious person should always be considered rape, because, like, what if a husband’s wife is unconscious and he needs sex right that second?
“If an individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious…a prosecutor could then charge that spouse with rape, theoretically," he argued. "That makes sense in a first date scenario, but to me, not where people have a history of years of sexual activity."
Then on Thursday, Republican West Virginia state delegate Brian Kurcaba said that rape is really “awful,” but, “What is beautiful is the child that could come from this.” Because getting knocked up by a rapist every girl’s dream come true.
Of course, this isn’t the first time lawmakers have said ridiculous things about rape. Back in 2012, Roger Rivard, a state representative in Wisconsin, said “some girls rape easy.” That same year Missouri’s Rep. Todd Akin said, “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” And by “whole thing” he meant, of course, pregnancy.
Since the people elected to make our laws seem unclear on this whole “rape thing” (as former congressional candidate John Koster called it), we came up with an explainer.
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.