Rape apology or rape apologetics are umbrella terms for any arguments suggesting that rape is infrequent, misreported, over-reported, not that big a deal, or that it is even excusable in some circumstances, such as within a marriage or if the victim was "provocatively dressed". "Apology" in the case means defense or justification, like in Christian apologetics, and not a statement expressing regret.
Predictably, rape apologists are usually those who oppose reproductive rights for women, and/or those who feel that marriage equals ownership. One example is Phyllis Schlafly's comment that "by getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape."
 Allegations of frequent false reporting
Rape apologists frequently accuse women of misreporting rape, or "crying rape" to get what they want (like an abortion). Accusations of rape against partners or other acquaintances are sometimes disbelieved by others and perceived as a spiteful reaction to some other grievance.
 It's not rape if...
 ...it's not "forcible"
Rape apologists frequently refer only to "forcible" rape when condemning rape or proposing legislation relating to rapes and their consequences. This explicitly excludes statutory rape, which is the only legitimate reason that the term "forcible rape" even exists. It implicitly excludes rapes committed with date-rape drugs, along with many marital rapes and those committed by people the victim knew, because those rapes are apparently less rape-y than the stranger-in-an-alley scenario, which is statistically less common.
 ...she's asleep!
On the same day as a host of Republicans were shoving their foots in their mouths, UK MP George Galloway added his own take on rape, specifically referencing Julian Assange's sexual assault charges. Apparently it's not rape if she's asleep: "This is something which can happen, you know. I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion."
 Pregnancy as a counter-indication to rape
Rape apologists have suggested that if a women gets pregnant then she was at least partly consensual to intercourse and cannot have been forcibly raped. This is used by pro-lifers to handwave the inconvenient subject of rape-induced pregnancy, and avoid allowing two of the standard allowable reasons for abortions: rape and incest. This is perhaps one of the real-life examples of Skarka's Law.
Of course, this is not true - in fact, some studies have shown that rape is more likely to result in conception than ordinary sexual acts.
 Use by Republicans
- Stephen Freind (R-PA), in 1988, stated that conception only takes place in "one in millions and millions and millions" of rapes, because rape causes women to "secrete a certain secretion, that kills sperm. 
- Henry Aldridge (R-NC), in 1995, stated "The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever." 
- Todd Akin (R-MO) in August 2012 stated that "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down".
- Steven King (R-IA) in August 2012 stated that he’d never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. 
 Political backpedaling
In August 2012 Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefish originally condemned Akin's comments (stating quite clearly that "rape is rape") until she was reminded that fellow Wisconsin Republican (and then-current Vice Presidential candidate) Paul Ryan co-sponsored a US House bill with Akin that would have limited Federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape recategorized by the bill as "forcible" or incest. Kleefish then backpeddled and invoked the possibility of "more forcible rape", a semantic distinction that may not mean very much to rape victims.
 But it could have been Einstein!
In further Republican minimization of rape, Mike Huckabee said as a response to Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" gaffe, "Some extraordinary people have come from forcible rape," including the gospel singer, Ethel Waters (who was obviously well adjusted—married at age 13, divorced shortly after, and was not the product of forcible rape, but rather Republican-Approved™ Statutory Rape) and this other guy you've never heard of, but who was equally well adjusted—with him violently assaulting the non-forceable rapist who blessed his mother with his life (ungrateful!). He doesn't mention the extraordinary courage necessary to raise a child of rape, or the extraordinary strength of any woman dealing with rape and pregnancy, no matter what she chooses to do. Guess the survivors are not all that extraordinary. Indeed, the very argument seems to mimic the same attitude conveyed in the Great Beethoven fallacy.
Similarly, 2012 vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has stated that rape is another means of conception, and therefore not all bad...though that assertion only seems to apply to fertile women, and not female children, males of any age or legal status, or post-menopausal women who get raped, or incidents where the perpetrator is female or an infertile male, in cases of forced sodomy, or when the perpetrator used a condom.
 The "God's Will" rationale
In October 2012, Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock stepped in the subject of rape hard and deep during a televised debate (for the Senate seat formerly held by Richard Lugar, who was defeated by Tea Party favorite Mourdock in the GOP primary) when he said that pregnancy caused by rape is "something God intended to happen" and that "life is a gift from God". There's no word on how actual rape victims feel about such a "gift" as of yet.
Mourdock faced immediate backlash from Democrats for his comments, satire from The Onion, and mixed stances of support and uncommitted opinions from Republicans, including Mitt Romney whose only endorsement during the 2012 election season (to date) was for Mourdock.
 "No" means "yes"
Unlike some of the arguments covered above, you're unlikely to hear this one espoused openly by politicians and public figures. Nevertheless, the old chestnut that women sometimes say "no" when they really mean "yes" remains very common.
This trope suggests that a woman who rejects sexual advances, or says she's not ready for sex with her new partner yet, is just playing hard to get — or even if she says "no" and means it, her partner might still be able to change her mind. At worst, some misogynists feel entitled to assume without evidence that a woman is harboring a secret rape fantasy, or even believe that she somehow "deserves it". This often goes hand in hand with other aspects of blaming the victim, such as focusing on where the victim was, how she was behaving, and what she was wearing.
Like the dubious strategies of the pick-up artist subculture, and the MRA furor over "creep shaming", the "no means yes" trope, whether applied to rape, stalking, or other predatory behaviour, encourages the misogynist attitude that if a guy wants to get laid, he has to be persistent and not take "no" for an answer.
Although in a heavily "softened" version, the "No means Yes"/"Don't take no for an answer"-attitude is also a principle in many standard romantic movies in a way as well, in that men are almost always the "active part" in building a romance. Women often aren't particularly attracted to the men at first, but due to his persistence in arranging a date or something similar, she "gives in" and a romance starts. Obviously, it's a long way from this to rape, but the point was that men are "supposed" to be persistent in their courtship/relationship with women. Similar to the trope "If He really loves you, nothing can stop him from you".
 Semantics, euphemisms and bad analogies
Another way to trivialise -- and implicitly normalise rape -- is to recharacterise it merely in terms of "unwanted sex" or similar euphemistic terms which take the emphasis off uncomfortable words like "rape" or "assault", and remind the reader or listener that, "hey, it's just sex, right?"
A typical example of this comes from a rant (directed against rape victims) by TJ Kincaid "TheAmazingAtheist", in his self-published e-book. Within the space of a few lines, Kincaid used the phrases "someone fucked you when you didn't want to be fucked", "a woman who gets dick when she doesn't want it", and "a single violation of your personal space". The message is pretty clear: rape's not such a big deal; just something you weren't expecting, but you should just put up with up and get it over it.
Others have said so more explicitly. In 2008, Nick Erikse, a London political candidate for the bigoted British National Party, was revealed as the author of misogynist blogs in which he had stated quite openly (albeit under a pseudonym) that he did not see rape as a serious crime or something to be condemned. Among his comments were:
“”Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal. To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that forcefeeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence. A woman would be more inconvenienced by having her handbag snatched.
 Men as victims of rape
A new area of concern when considering so-called "rape apology" is the recognition of male victims of rape. Because most societies believe that men desire sex all the time and because they consider men to be the aggressors within society, reports of male rape are rarely taken seriously, especially if a woman was the rapist. The very way male anatomy functions would suggest that a man cannot be raped by a woman if he was not willing to have sex. However, everyone knows that the body and mind are not always in agreement. More compellingly, if alcohol, drugs or sleep remove the legal ability of a woman to give consent, wouldn't it be exactly the same for men? This kind of bias can be seen, for example, in Japanese law, where "sexual assault" refers to cases when men are the victim (by women or men) and "rape" only applies to men-on-women rape.
As for male-on-male rape, since the majority of these rapes are perpetrated by and to gay men, there is a strong tone of victim-blaming by the authorities, both for being raped, and simply being gay.
Attempts to determine how many men are raped are, at best, wild estimates grounded on the assumption that men who have been raped are even more reluctant to report their experiences than women are. There are few if any quality studies that look at the issue of male rape, in or out of prison, but it is clearly a real issue that needs to be addressed.
 Prison rape
A further concern regarding male rape are the near-epidemic levels of rape within the US prison system.
There has been comparatively little action taken against prison rape. One possible reason for this is the ingrained belief that prisoners, being criminals, somehow deserve it. This is especially true of sex offenders, given the apparently widespread view that these people deserve to be punished violently. As an example of this culture of rape as punishment, when former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of multiple child molestation offences, dozens, possibly hundreds, of social media users responded with jibes which predicted--or even advocated--Sandusky being raped in prison showers. As sports writer Barry Petchesky pointed out, these rape jokes are "just giving more power to the taboo that kept Sandusky's crimes against young boys from coming to light for so long".
 See also
- Blaming the victim
- Child sexual abuse, for examples of pedophile apologetics, such as NAMBLA.
- Creep shaming
- Rape culture
- ↑ Kyle Mantyla. Schlafly: Married Women Can’t Be Raped By Husbands. Right Wing Watch. 2007 March 29.
- ↑ Liz Kelly, Jo Lovett and Linda Regan. A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases. Home Office Research Studies (UK). 2005 February.
- ↑ American Medical Association (1995) Sexual Assault in America.
- ↑ Without consent. H M Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate. 2007 January.
- ↑ http://feministing.com/2012/08/21/british-mp-george-galloway-defends-assange-its-not-rape-if-shes-asleep
- ↑ http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/20/usa-politics-abortion-claim-idINL2E8JKI1320120820
- ↑ http://jezebel.com/5936160/the-official-guide-to-legitimate-rape?tag=todd-akin
- ↑ http://articles.philly.com/1988-03-23/news/26277205_1_freind-woman-secretes-luigi-mastroianni
- ↑ http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Lawmaker-Says-Rape-Can-t-Cause-Pregnancy-3036411.php
- ↑ http://fox2now.com/2012/08/19/the-jaco-report-august-19-2012/
- ↑ http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/steve-king-statutory-rape.php?ref=fpnewsfee ... and, well, if you define "child" as someone who hasn't reached puberty yet, that shouldn't be too surprising.
- ↑ Akin Bad: Paul Ryan’s ‘Forcible Rape’ Bill Co-Sponsor Drags Him Into Daylight, Mediaite
- ↑ Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch: Some Rapes Are More Equal Than Others, Gawker
- ↑ Extraordinary people come from rape".
- ↑ Yes, he actually said it.
- ↑ Mourdock: God Intended Rape Babies, Dispatches from the Culture Wars
- ↑ Republican Senate Candidate: Conception From Rape ‘Is Something That God Intended’, Talking Points Memo
- ↑ God Distances Self From Christian Right, TheOnion.com
- ↑ Mitt Romney chokes on Richard Mourdock's rape comment, LATimes.com
- ↑ Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman, page 90. See our TheAmazingAtheist article for more on this quote.
- ↑ The F-Word Blog, "London Assembly candidate - rape 'no big deal'", 1 April 2008.
- ↑ In fact, one of the single strongest defenses against a charge of rape is for the defendant to claim the woman he raped climaxed.
- ↑ http://www.academia.edu/644183/Gay_male_rape_victims_law_enforcement_social_attitudes_and_barriers_to_recognition
- ↑ National Prison Rape Elimination Coalition Report, 2009
- ↑ "Anyone Heard Any Good Jerry Sandusky Prison Rape Jokes?", Barry Petchesky, Deadspin.