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Swedish Man Cleared of Rape Charges Because His Victim Had a Penis

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By Cooper Fleishman on July 5, 2012


Here’s the story: A Swedish man beat attempted-rape charges when it was revealed that his victim was actually not biologically female but a transwoman with male genitalia who was undergoing hormone therapy. And even though the 61-year-old attacker admitted to following the woman with clear intent to rape, violently assaulting her and tearing off her pants and “grabbing at her crotch,” he will receive a lessened assault charge — because the woman’s penis “invalidates” the rape.

As this “woman” was actually a man, his intentions were impossible to commit as the rape could never be completed.

“We believe that he wanted to rape this woman in particular. But as she turned out to be a man, the crime never was actually committed,” said [judge Dan] Sjöstedt.

Is it possible to rape a man? Yes it is, you fucktards, and not just in prisons and the military and other microcosms where the rules of survival turn upside-down. More than anything, this case highlights the sheer absurdity of the double standard with which we treat male victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Changing the verdict solely because of the victim’s genitalia is like switching a grand theft auto charge to petty theft because the car happened to be blue when the thief thought it was green.

Moreover, this case and its media coverage reveal how Swedish transgendered people are dismissed. Oddly, only the attempted rapist referred to the woman, who was undergoing treatment to “reach the right identity,” as “she,” but not out of altruistic reasons. The Local’s coverage calls her a “‘woman,’” scare quotes included, and insists that she was “actually a man.”

The U.S. changed its definition of rape to include male victims only this year. In Europe, where 3 percent of men reported experiencing “non-consensual sexual intercourse,” Sweden carries the highest rate of reported rape. Perhaps the nation has avoided expanding the crime’s definition to include male-male and female-male assault because doubling its already-chilling statistics would become disastrous.

But as we’ve learned from the ongoing Julian Assange shitshow, the country’s rape laws are uniquely liberal and women-friendly: Consent violations as subtle as the pulling of an arm can result in charges. Sweden’s penal code doesn’t legally discriminate by gender, stating simply, “a person … forces another person.” Nothing in the Swedish rape law should have altered the judge’s verdict. So what happened?

Rape victimhood isn’t some zero-sum gender game: men’s sexual assault shouldn’t invalidate women’s, and nothing between one’s legs should discredit his or her experience of being stalked and attacked. Men, straight and gay and bi and trans, experience sexual assault just as women do — and are commonly shamed into silence, absorbing cultural cues that their genitalia delegitimizes their trauma. This case, more than any, actually spells out the myth — and all of its destructive consequences.

[The Local]

Follow Cooper on Twitter here.


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