shorter* jesse bering: “gimme an R-A-P-E! what’s that spell? RAPE, YAY!”

Raping old people is gross and weird, but it’s okay if they have dementia because they won’t remember it.

If you don’t want to wade through several pages of crazysauce — and more sympathetic I could not be — here’s the relevant quote:

The authors describe the case of a 33-year-old nursing-home assistant who’d been quietly molesting and raping his female charges for several years. Some of this man’s victims were rounding the epochal century mark and were suffering from dementia, thus his defense was that they were “not aware of what was happening.”

The abuse might have continued in silence, had not the shrewd daughter of a 98-year-old woman deduced foul play by noticing that her mom became uncharacteristically frightened whenever the elder-molesting aide came into the room. Ball also reviews forensic data revealing that, in the U.K., somewhere between 2 and 7 percent of all rape victims are over the age of 60.

Elder sexual abuse is reprehensible, of course; but from a bloodless moral philosophical perspective, it does raise intriguing questions about issues related to consent, trauma, and the impact of sex crimes on victims with different psychological and physical stakes. Is the rape of a 98-year-old Alzheimer’s patient—who, whether we like it or not, has only a limited awareness of what is happening, just as the perpetrator says—comparable to, say, the rape of a lucid, vulnerable child who would have to deal with the emotional scars of such sexual violence for the rest of his or her long life, or a teenager who might be impregnated?

Wait wait, I know the answer to this! YES. You’re welcome.

Also, uh, if she wasn’t aware what was happening, why did she cringe whenever her rapist came into her presence?

By this “logic”, it’s also okay to rape babies, coma patients, people you’ve drugged into unconsciousness, and people with that short-term memory disease like the guy in Memento. Let’s get rapin’!

*”Shorter” format stolen from Sadly, No!. Link via Pandagon, image via Natalie Dee.