As submitted to The Daily Maverick.
Most social interactions are likely to involve some measure of deception. This could range from feigning interest, or pretending to know more about the topic under discussion than you actually do, to calculated deception involving beliefs, character, or motivation. Many of these lesser deceptions are perhaps not even considered dishonest, but merely part of the everyday bargaining between our own multiple identities (which could vary according to context) and the identities of others.
Some more serious sorts of deception are of course legally actionable, and in many cases involve clear moral wrongs. One example of this is painfully fresh in many people’s memories, and involves entrusting financial investments to people who in the end misrepresented the extent to which they had the client’s best interest at heart.
But what to make of “rape by deception”, and in particular the case of Saber Kushour, recently sentenced to 18 months in prison for this “crime”? (The scare-quotes are of course not intended to indicate that rape is not a crime, or that it shouldn’t be, but rather to indicate that it’s not yet clear whether Kushour is guilty of rape at all.)