Misogyny has always amazed me. Every man has a mother, and a Grandmother. Some of us have wives, sisters, and aunts, but for some reason there has always been an indifference toward women in our society. Objectifying women is nothing new. In fact it is something that has been going on since the beginning of time. But that doesn't make it any less disturbing to those of us who love and value the women in our lives. It becomes even more disturbing when this chauvinistic indifference is condoned by a legal system which was designed to protect both men and women equally.
On Wednesday January 3 an appeals court in Los Angeles, California over turned the conviction of Julio Morales after he was sentenced to 3 years in state prison for rape. After a night of drinking Morales climbed through the window of a woman's darkened bedroom after her boyfriend left for the night and raped her as she slept. The unidentified woman was asleep when her boyfriend left, and had no idea that it was Morales who was in bed with her until a ray of light through the window revealed that who she assumed was her lover was in fact a complete stranger violating her. In a baffling move which can only be described as nonsensical panel of Judges over turned the courts decision in part because of an arcane law from 1872 which does not protect women who are unmarried in these cases.
"Has the man committed rape? Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes," Judge Thomas L. Willhite Jr. wrote in the court's decision.
The appeals court added that prosecutors argued two theories, and it was unclear if the jury convicted Morales because the defendant tricked the victim or because sex with a sleeping person is defined as rape by law.
Prior to the conviction, Morales' attorney Edward Schulman had argued Morales believed the sex was consensual because the victim responded to his kisses and caresses, according to the decision.
The adjectives are endless, it is deplorable, disgusting, shocking, chauvinistic, ridiculous, and down right insensitive to think that any panel of judges would be so bold as to decide that a woman's body is only worthy of protection under the law if she is married. This concept is inconceivable. It makes me wonder what the victims race is. I assume that Morales is Hispanic, given the fact that his name is Julio Morales. But I also wonder if the victim is Hispanic, and if things would have played it differently had she been white. Of course this is pure speculation, and conjecture. Perhaps I have a predilection for looking for a racial issue in most situations. But the fact is, most situations have an element of racism. The color of the woman should never matter, but the protection of all women should always be a top priority.