Historically, rape has been seen less as a violation of a woman than as a theft from a man to whom that woman belonged, either her husband or her father, who suffered an economic loss (a woman’s marriageability spoiled) and an insult to his honor. There was also the problem of bastard children, who were considered a social burden; the Athenian state, for example, was primarily occupied with protecting bloodlines, and so treated rape and adultery the same way. Hammurabi’s code describes rape victims as adulterers; English law of the seventeenth century takes a similar position. In Puritan Massachusetts, any woman pregnant through rape was prosecuted for fornication. In the nineteenth century, the American courts remained biased toward protecting men who might be falsely accused. In order to prove that an encounter was a rape, the woman had to demonstrate that she had resisted and been overcome; she usually had to show bodily harm as evidence of her struggle; and she had somehow to prove that the man had ejaculated inside her.
Andrew Solomon, in his New Yorker article, The Legitimate Children of Rape
I wish I could say this is in the past. But such attitudes continue to persist to this day. It takes a long time to shake off thousands of years of systemic sexism.
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