Essay by Mark C. ManzoUniversity, Ph.D.A+, April 1996

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co-erce ko-ers vb co-erced; co-ercing 1: RESTRAIN, REPRESS 2: COMPEL 3: ENFORCE

--co-er-sion -er-zhen,shen n --co-er-cive -er-siv adj

rape ^r`ap n 1: a carrying away by force 2: sexual intercourse by a man with a woman without her consent and chiefly by force or deception; also : unlawful sexual intercourse of any kind by force or threat

As if the line between normal and acceptable consensual sex and rape wasn't thin enough already, there are those out there that wish to make it an even narrower, less defined and more twisting line to stay on the right side of. It seems as though somehow, somewhere, someone decided that the two terms defined above are in some way related. However, in the manner of logic which I possess, they are not. The debate now is rape, and what constitutes that once horridly thought of crime. In the opinion of some, rape is no longer just a physical act of violence that accompanies uninvited sex.

Rape, as defined by some, can occur even when the two parties involved agree verbally or otherwise to have sex. This to me, seems absurd. In the most basic terms, and with the simplest definitions, no means no, and okay, yeah, yes and please, all mean yes. The term 'NO' is not very complicated, and is probably the word that was repeated to us the most as children, so we should all get that one right. But still, how can yes mean no? Apparently through a term known as 'verbal coersion,' which allows a large grey area to form between these simple answers to sometimes complicated questions.

'Verbal Coersion' is not a term you will find in the dictionary, at least not in any of the ones I own. In an article by David R. Carlin,