Ten months ago, Representative Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) made some alarming statements about sexual assault, but the story didn’t gain any traction at the time. Now it’s election season, post-Akin, and Rep. Rivard finds himself in a close race. He’s been forced to explain what he meant when he stated that “Some girls, they rape easy.”
From Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel, 10/10/12:
Madison – A state representative is drawing heat for saying that his father had told him when he was young that “some girls rape easy” as a way to warn him that a woman could agree to sex but then later claim that it wasn’t consensual.
Freshman Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) in December discussed a case with the Chetek Alert newspaper in which a 17-year-old high school senior was charged with sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl in the school’s band room.
Rep. Rivard provided the full context of his statement to the Journal Sentinel this afternoon, but it doesn’t seem to make things any better, in my opinion:
He told the Journal Sentinel that his father had advised him not to have premarital sex, and he took that seriously.
“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’ ” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’
“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’
Pennie Meyers of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault stated:
“Unfortunately, comments like these are all too common, and an indication of ways in which the culture is generally under educated about what sexual assault is; sexual assault remains an underreported and under prosecuted crime.”
Rivard’s Democratic opponent, Steven Smith, had this to say:
“I’m offended to think that my sister or my daughters would be thought of in that manner,” he said. “I feel Roger is out of touch with the majority of voters and his views are extreme.”
As a woman, I’m offended, too. It’s 2012. There is simply no excuse for these kinds of comments.