They should call it the Bill Cosby Loophole. It turns out that in Oklahoma, you can rape a woman by inserting your penis into her mouth without her permission -- she only has to be passed out from too much alcohol at the time in order for it to be legal.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously ruled that the state's forcible sodomy law doesn't outlaw non-consenting oral sex while the victim is unconscious due to alcohol or drugs. It only bans this form of rape if the victim is "mental illness or mental disability," Mother Jones reported on Thursday.
The ruling was handed down regarding a case involving a 17-year-old boy who apparently forced a 16-year-old girl to give him oral sex while she was passed out, having had too much to drink. While the girl's blood alcohol level was .341, the boy insisted to the court that the girl gave him the go-ahead. However, she was so intoxicated that she didn't wake up until she was in the hospital, and she testified that she couldn't recall consenting to oral sex.
It's difficult to know which governmental body is more to blame for this obvious miscarriage of justice: the courts or the legislature. Both are, to some degree, responsible for a rape law that doesn't include circumstances involving alcohol. And, naturally, we know why.
Throughout the most conservative pockets of American society -- and we see this every day online -- too many men, and even some women, believe that anyone who drinks too much, or anyone who dresses provocatively, for that matter, is chiefly to blame in cases of sexual assault. See also presidential candidate John Kasich who recommended that women refrain from drinking if they're concerned about being raped.
The truly staggering upshot is that the ruling further embosses the framework of the law and leaves countless scores of women vulnerable to being raped and not receiving justice against their attackers. It's literally impossible for anyone to consent to sex while unconscious, but that doesn't appear to matter in Oklahoma where, clearly, anything goes.
And we probably shouldn't hold our breath waiting for the Republican-dominated legislature to revisit the law to close this obviously dangerous loophole. Toss into the mix Governor Mary Fallin, who's perhaps the worst governor in America and a far-right zealot. Even though the governor is, herself, a woman, it'd be quite a surprise if she signs such a revision to the statute, given how reproductive rights and, yes, rape are grossly misunderstood by hardline conservatives.
Until the loophole is closed, it's more or less open season on women in Oklahoma where not only they can be legally raped, but their reproductive options are narrowing by the day due to a lengthening menu of anti-choice laws.