What do you see when you look at this picture?
If your answer is “a brutal sexual assault,” you’re not alone.
‘We learn that George and Greta were perfect strangers. We learn that George was drunk, and that Greta had no idea of his presence, until she was in his arms, with his lips on hers… It seems pretty clear, then, what George had committed was sexual assault.”
The blog Feministing.com embraced the sexual assault premise, claiming that a closer look at the picture reveals corroborating evidence of the ‘crime’ that took place in 1945 in the middle of Times Square.
The writer points to the smirks on the faces of other sailors seen in the background; the firm grasp around the physically smaller woman in Mendonsa’s arms keeping her from escaping; the woman’s clenched first and limp body.
‘If there is a better symbol for how messed up our ideas about sex and romance are, I can’t think of one,’ the Feministing blogger writes.
Leopard writes in her blog, ‘The unwillingness to recognize a problem here is not surprising, considering the rape culture in which we live.’
‘It is not easy to assert that a woman’s body is always her own, not to be used at the whim of any man without her consent. It is far easier to turn a blind eye to the feelings of women, to claim that they should [empathize] with the man, that they should be good sports and just go along with it.’
If this kiss happened today it would be chargeable as a rape under Article 120, UCMJ (10 U.S.C. § 920):
(a) Rape. Any person subject to this chapter who commits a sexual act upon another person by—
(1) using unlawful force against that other person;
. . .
is guilty of rape and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
(g) Definitions. In this section:
(1) Sexual act. The term ‘sexual act’ means—
. . .
(B) the penetration, however slight, of the . . . mouth of another by any part of the body or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade any person or to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
Lack of consent is not an element, intoxication is not a defense, and the maximum authorized punishment for such a rape is imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole.