French Distinguish Between Seduction and Rape

Michèle points out something I’ve always wondered about. The French do strongly distinguish between coming on to a woman and raping one. I’d always noticed that French women weren’t as bothered by obvious come-ons as I was. I had grown up in New York City and had some frightening experiences in which insistent men made me feel overpowered. Now I see why French women weren’t as frightened by that as I was!

“Sur la question du viol, donc de la gravité et de la réprobation de l’acte s’il est prouvé, on a tendance ici à poser une barrière complète entre la drague, la séduction même poussée, et l’imposition d’une violence physique à des fins sexuelles, c.a.d., dire le viol.

Il semble qu’aux USA, on pense volontiers que l’un mène à l’autre, ici il y a plutôt l’opinion inverse selon laquelle la psychologie du séducteur et celle du violeur diffèrent radicalement : charmer contre forcer. Il y a donc l’idée que le viol peut aussi bien venir d’un homme à femmes que d’un refoulé sans vie sexuelle satisfaisante.”

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