the problem with calling not-rape rape is that it removes one teeny-tiny speck of the real meaning of rape, and replaces it with the meaning of rape as it’s being used. inconsequential in the individual use, it becomes more and more serious as “rape” starts meaning less a traumatic sexual violation and more something that a person claims to be doing while playing halo against anonymous others on xbox.

a lot of people compare the degeneration of the word “rape” to the word “kill,” see: “i’m going to kill you,” and ask why, if we can threaten to take the life of another, why can’t we threaten to sexually violate them in the same offhand manner?
because rape is already not accorded a universal understanding of its horror. murder is universally loathed, rape is paid lip-service as a travesty and then institutionally ignored. killers are hunted down, rapists are (generally) not. dead bodies are taken seriously—sexually assaulted bodies are not.

so, just you saying rape is probably not going to change the meaning of rape entirely. but it does change it, just that little little teeny tiny bit. and once a million or more changes like that are made, its true meaning is lost in a fog of colloquial understanding and rape victims are left with even less language to describe what happened to them.

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