History of Robots & Res in Re

I’ve been meaning to put this post up for a while, but I thought I would wait until after classes were done because it was a piece from a (then) current student of mine.  As the classes have drawn to a close, I finally wanted to put up this piece, which is a commentary on the Overheard at Guelph issue.  Please read here to see what another student at another campus thought about the pro-rape chants heard at Guelph.

One of the things I find interesting about the post is the distinction that is drawn by some between sexual assault and rape.  Interesting if only because in Canada, sexual assault is the term for rape under the law.  That is, there are different gradations of sexual assault in Canada which include what might be called “rape” in other jurisdictions.

The classic definition of rape (that goes all the way back past Blackwell and to the writings of the seventeenth century legal theorist Edward Coke) of res in re was overturned years back as being too restrictive.  Res in re literally means “thing in thing” and referred specifically to penetrative sex, and thereby allowed a whole host of unwanted sexual activity to pass as neither rape, nor straightforward bodily assault and therefore quasi-legal.

Canada got rid of those definitions years ago (hooray).  Now, if only our populace were more educated as to their rights and responsibilities to each other.  Unwanted sex is unwanted sex, res in re or no.


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