Still referring to E.J. Graff's probe into Republican rape apologists' pulpy decay here. Graff quotes Jessica Valenti in The Nation
As Tennessee Senator Douglas Henry said in 2008, “Rape, ladies and gentlemen, is not today what rape was. Rape, when I was learning these things, was the violation of a chaste woman, against her will, by some party not her spouse.”
She also quotes Irin Carmon in Salon (emphasis mine.)
“Dear everyone asking what it is about Republican candidates and their clumsy talk about rape: This is a feature, not a bug.” Really. Mourdock, Akin, Walsh, Angle—all of them are simply saying straightforwardly what they and many other people around them believe. ... They believe that most of what you and I would call rape today is just some slut who got angry because the dude didn’t take her out to breakfast the next morning.
Ok, look. I know, I know, back between roughly the early 1700s and late 1900s social and especially economic forces made it extremely important for women to protect their "virtue." A.k.a. their resale value in the male virginity-fetish market. With the result that any hint of "lack of virtue" could result in very real risk of social, economic, and even physical harm. And consequently one can imagine (and I do stress imagine here) that women might have felt some pressure to claim that any consensual sexual "lapse" was actually somehow the result of coercion by her male partner.
C'mon! Look what we've seen just among right-wing extremist conservatives in America! In 2008 the daughter of an arch-conservative Vice Presidential candidate has an out-of-wedlock daughter. Consequences to either the daughter or the candidate? Zero. Compare that to, say, the 1972 Presidential race where a male VIce Presidential candidate was forced to step aside just because he had been treated for depression. Depression! See also the nude photos of arch-conservative radio shock-jock "Dr." Laura Schlessinger. Consequences? Zero! Allegations of an affair by South Carolina Gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley. By a political ally no less. Consequences? Zero.
Among less prominent women in the 21st Century the issue of the importance of "feminine virtue" gets more hazy rather than less. Yes, Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch had to step down when it was revealed that she'd had inappropriate relations with a male employee. But the actual uproar, and cause for her stepping down, had more to do with him being a subordinate than about Koch's actual sex life itself.
And about that male subordinate? Interestingly, he's filed a wrongful termination suit against his former employers on the basis that female employees who'd had similar relationships with male legislators had not been fired.* A.k.a. discriminated against for having willing or unwilling sexual relationships.
Does this mean everything everywhere in America is just hunky-dory for women who choose not to remain "untainted?" No. Duh. Of course not.
It does imply that Republican knuckledraggers who like to imagine that women have any image-protecting (or even job protecting!) reasons to "cry rape" are simply talking through their hats. Where "their hats" is a euphemism for "their stupid, lazy, throwback asses." Because for the most part, and largely thanks to feminism, the incentives for "crying rape" here in the 21st Century "today is not like it was."
* This is SO not a whutaboutthemenz/reverse-discrimination ploy, at least not on my part. Here in the 21st Century NOBODY should be punished for being a victim either of workplace sexual harassment or sexual favoritism by a superior.