An Arab man convicted in Israel of rape because he pretended he was a Jew when he had consensual sex with a Jewish woman has called the verdict racist.
In many jurisdictions “sex under false pretenses” constitutes rape. (PDF) I’m not terribly sympathetic to the Arab man. If consent is obtained by deceit, it’s not consent. And Not Consent remains Not Consent, regardless of whether we decide a woman really ought to have consented under the circumstances.
I hadn’t thought about it that way, and I guess, yes, believing you are having sex with someone other than the person you thought you were having sex with could be traumatic, and on that point, I really don’t want to argue that it’s not rape.
At the same time, does the fact that it is rape keep the entire situation from being based on racist ideas?
No. There are a few issues that might be worth investigating more generally:
- Is consent generally given or withheld in a way that systemically enforces racial segregation? (If so, to what extent is it a problem?)
- Are cases of false-pretenses rape selectively prosecuted?
- Is a jury more likely to acquit the woman who lies to the man or the Jew who lies to the Palestinian?
All of these could be answered with the appropriate studies. But I’m not comfortable generalizing from one case. If it was very important for this particular woman only to have sex with Jewish men (or if it was very important for this woman only to have sex with men she expected to eventually marry and she only planned to marry somebody of her faith) the big problem may not be disparate treatment.
I have no problems with “I lied to her to get her to stop saying no to my advances” being criminal.