11 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 335 (1972-1973)
Victim in a Forcible Rape Case: A Feminist View, The

handle is hein.journals/amcrimlr11 and id is 343 raw text is: NOTE

THE VICTIM IN A FORCIBLE RAPE CASE:
A FEMINIST VIEW
Force and consent are the significant issues in rape trials. Many
times a female will submit after a lot of talk, liquor, and lunges, and
later, for a wide range of reasons, decide that she was really raped.
Some girls rape awful easy. So many chicks say no no when there's
yes yes in their eyes, and their thighs seem to spread at a mere
flick of the finger. The rape law is often used by a woman to get
a former boyfriend or a hoped-for boyfriend who never material-
ized.1
The most curious thing about forcible rape2 cases, despite common
misconceptions, is the amount of sympathy which is afforded the of-
fender, and the callousness, or even hostility in some cases, which is felt
for the victim. Because of the assumption that jurors are likely to feel
sympathy for the victim and convict the assailant without adequate
evidence, many states have more stringent proof requirements than
would be necessary for other crimes.3 Nevertheless, many commentators
still are obsessed by the fear that innocent men are often convicted of
rape due to the malice of sick women, who either fabricate stories
of forcible rape or trap men in situations from which they can rea-
sonably infer consent. These fears are largely groundless. It is more
likely that guilty assailants escape due to the reluctance of victims to
report the crime, police and district attorneys to prosecute, and jurors
to convict. Due to the traumatic experience which a victim must go
through in order to attempt to secure the attacker's successful prose-
cution, it is amazing that any rape cases ever come to trial.
REQUIREMENTS OF PROOF: TRADITIONAL JUSTIFICATIONS
The law of rape is such that it is highly unlikely to produce an inor-
dinate number of false convictions. Although most jurisdictions still pay
1 S. RosENRLATr, JusrucE DENIED 36 (1971) [hereinafter cited as ROSENBLATT].
2 Although only forcible rape will be considered in this article, some of the discussion
is applicable to statutory rape. Since in some states the penalties for statutory and
forcible rape are identical, statutory rape is alleged because no force need be proven.
J. MAcDoNAw, PSYCHIATRY AND TilE CRIMINAL 235 (2d ed. 1969) [hereinafter cited as
MACDONALD].
See notes 4 & 5 infra and accompanying text.
[ 335 1

What Is HeinOnline?

With comprehensive coverage of government documents and more than 2,400 journals from inception on hundreds of subjects such as political science, criminal justice, and human rights, HeinOnline is an affordable option for colleges and universities. Documents have the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?