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Monday, April 28, 2008

Phone Rape?

When I read the description of the story, I said to myself, "This must have taken place in a third-world country or something." Luckily, I was right. Thankfully there's not yet a chance that this kind of lawsuit could happen in America, where people may be dumb enough to get away with frivolous lawsuits, but where we're at least smart enough to recognize legal definitions and many of us have passed a sex education course.

A man is being accused of raping a woman over the phone during phone sex.

The story takes place in Tunisia, where a 30-year-old man was engaged in phone sex with a 20-year-old woman. The man never touched the woman, but during the course of phone sex, he admits to have heard the woman scream and that she "reported bleeding." Somehow in the mind of the woman's family lawyer, this constitutes a "rape" because there was a physical result. The woman was taken to the doctor and the medical examination determined that she was "no longer a virgin."

The case is actually going to court! The lawyer representing the woman, Maha al-Metebaa, says that the case needs careful investigation because the allegations are unprecedented. He claims that while a sexual act did not happen due to the lack of physical proximity, it also did happen because there is a physical impact in the nature of the loss of virginity.

I personally do not know what the Tunisian court system can decree as a punishment for rape, but I'm guessing it's not lenient. This is apparently a country that still determines virginity without taking into account the innumerable ways in which a hymen can be broken without penetration, and probably considers non-virginal women as "unmarryable" and otherwise useless.

Someone needs to ship a couple sex education booklets to the citizens of Tunisia - or at least to this braindead lawyer.

At the very least, the woman should be charged with raping herself. After all, any penetration that they would claim broke her hymen and made her no longer a virgin would HAVE to have been committed by herself. Even claiming "coersion" or something, the man is in no way at fault for what she did to herself. A woman going to jail for raping herself is at least slightly less nonsensical than a man going to jail for raping her over the phone.

Your thoughts?

(I can't make this craziness up!)

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