Down Chad, Down! ! ! Good boy. Date rape. The sound of the words pierce a knife into American idealism. For some it may be easier to cope with the concept of 'sexual assault' or hear the more lyrical 'acquaintance rape'. The fact remains that 'date rape' has become a serious problem in the United States. Date rape is not the stereotypical 'man in the bushes with a knife' type of scenario.

Date rape is when the victim actually knows the rapist. They may be classmates, have mutual friends, or even have dated one another, but the rapist and the victim have established some sort of relationship. "Judging by news and entertainment media, the problems of date and acquaintance rape have reached crisis proportions in recent years. A search in the database Nexus turns up 54 mentions of date or acquaintance rape in the New York Times during the past two decades - nearly half of them in the last year.

Television shows such as "A Different World", "21 Jump Street" and numerous made - for - TV movies have featured date - rape themes. Oprah, Phil, Geraldo, and Sally have each taken a crack at the subject" writes Gutman (1) Because of this ever-increasing problem there has also been an expansion on discussions and in the media, that place an emphasis on male-female relationships. Author Deborah Tannen has also added to the media frenzy with her essay "Sex, Lies, and Conversation." Tannen thoroughly examines the different methods of communicating between the sexes, and how they "are wreaking havoc with marriage." (Tannen 2) Camille Paglia's essay "It's a Jungle Out There" and Susan Jacoby's essay "Common Decency," each discuss the very serious and violent crime of date rape. Although these three women are writing about gender issues, Tannen's essay on communication cannot even be compared with the seriousness of the other essays. Assuming that there is a probability that a man could innocently misread a woman's signals and not know that she didn't want to have sex, is just as pathetic as attempting to draw a parallel between an essay on miscommunication and an essay on rape. In about three to four boring pages, Tannen attempts to dissect the communication problems between couples.

She explains that these differences can even be seen in children as "boys and girls tend to play with children of their own gender, and their sex-separate groups, have different organizational structures and interactive norms" (Tannen 7). Although there is an apparent communication discrepancy between same-sex discussions and opposite-sex discussions, this has nothing to do with date rape. Tannen is simply discussing a nonviolent communication problem between the sexes, and how intimate relationships are affected by it. Jacoby and Paglia are discussing a very violent and serious crime and directing reasons for it's all too frequent occurrences. "Acquaintance rape, which is also referred to as 'date rape' and 'hidden rape' has been increasingly recognized as a real and relatively common problem in society." (Curtis 1) It is very sad to think that so many women were date raped before there was a name for it. "The publication of Koss' findings [on date rape] in the popular Ms.

Magazine in 1985 informed millions of the scope and severity of the problem. By debunking the belief that unwanted sexual advances and intercourse were not rape if they occurred with an acquaintance or while on a date, Koss compelled women to reexamine their own experiences. Many women were thus able to re frame what had happened to them as acquaintance rape and became better able to legitimize their perceptions that they were indeed victims of a crime." (Curtis 1) Jacoby believes that date rape occurs because " a minority of men - an ugly minority, to be sure - can't take 'no' for an answer." (Jacoby 7) While Paglia, on the other hand, feels that "there are sexual differences that are based in biology" and women should always be on the lookout for that attempted rapists. (Paglia 6) I agree with both of these women on their views of date rape. I agree with Paglia that women should not "do anything, go anywhere, say anything, wear anything" (Paglia 4). I realize that this is not a fair situation, and it really ticks me off.

Because I am a woman and am physically weaker than men I can not partake in certain activities. It is almost as though mother nature is also attempting to discriminate against women. We can finally vote and hold high-paying jobs, but we can't walk to the voting booths or show too much skin; it is ridiculous, but it is also true. However, I concur with Jacoby's belief that "real men don't rape." (Jacoby 19) The men that I know in my life would never rape a woman. A number of people believe that these would-be rapists are influenced by the media "via television and film when sex is portrayed as a commodity whose attainment of which is the ultimate male challenge." (Curtis 5) But this way of thinking is preposterous, the reason that we separate ourselves from the apes is that we are able to control our animal instincts. Insinuating that the media is to blame for the rapists is a bullshit excuse for the few lunatic rapists out there.

One common theme, that I noticed is that neither of these women offered a complete and practical solution to this increasing problem. Paglia gives a valid attempt by recommending that women should use "the Italian philosophy of life [which] espouses high-energy confrontation." (Paglia 16) I definitely agree with her in that aspect. Women have to stand up for themselves Rather than bashing on each other for their opposing points of view, they should come together as women, and find a way to end the problem. One night while I was in school in Tucson, I went out to a bar with a few friends of mine. We had a great time dancing and drinking.

At one o'clock the bar was closed and we stopped at Jack in the Box on the way home. I went to my roommates boyfriend's apartment to devour my food. After my late night meal, I walked home and fell asleep on the couch. My roommate had lost her keys the evening before hand so I told her I would leave the door unlocked for her.

About an hour later I awoke to a body on top of me kissing the side of my face, it was Chad. I was discombobulated and did not really know what was happening. When I was able to grasp what was occurring, I freaked out. I screamed and ran into the bathroom and hid until I heard the front door close.

The next morning I was in shock. Chad was someone that I had known casually for a few years and had actually danced with him that night. I was extremely bothered for a long time after this happened, but the real break down occurred when he was charged with eight counts of rape four months later. I wasn't raped, but I was felt violated. Someone that I trusted and knew had tried to hurt me. Brown 5 This is a common problem brought on by a minority of corrupt men.

These corrupt men are everywhere and date rape happens everywhere. The problem needs to be fixed, not argued about.