Nonconsensual Sex: How Colleges Rebranded Rape
Nonconsensual sex is sexual assault. Several schools make that clear. In Princeton University’s policy, for example, next to the category “non-consensual sexual penetration,” it states in parentheses that the act is “commonly referred to as rape.” And next to “non-consensual sexual contact,” the act is “commonly referred to as sexual assault.” But the reason that hearing boards winced at the word “rape” is the exact reason activists think the term is important: It’s violent and powerful, and does justice to the violation that victims experience. Anti-rape campaigners have pressed their communities to understand what rape is, and how much it happens. Many see “nonconsensual sex” as a harmful euphemism.