That's not to say that such things are always avoidable, but it really does seem like young women are being taught to abrogate their responsibilities by assuming that the law will somehow protect them after the fact. I think that's a terrible approach and is more harmful than helpful.
You are absolutely right. A better approach would be to teach men that it is wrong to threaten, imply threat, or in some other way indicate that unless a woman has sex with him, bad things might happen.
While we're at it, can we just teach people not to steal or kill as well? I mean, if that's the solution, then what are we waiting for?
The best approach is to deter men, who are usually the controlling force in the situation, from raping.
Sure. No one's denying that. The question is about what is the best way to do that.
Soooo.... How do you propose we do that if not by writing laws with strong enough language that a potential rapist (regardless of the severity of the intended rape) thinks twice before dropping his zipper?
The problem is the disconnect between what many feminist groups tell women the law *should be* and the way the actual law works. This makes women think that the laws protecting them are stronger than what they actually are. So they think that if they say no to their date and he proceeds anyway, that they now have the law on their side and can go to the police after the fact and get him thrown in jail for his crime. And when the reality of the law determines that there's nowhere near enough evidence of rape to proceed, no amount of her complaining about how "the woman who gave the date rape talk in freshman orientation said that no means no, and rape is rape, so what he did was rape" is going to help her.
The fact is that we can't make our laws "strong enough" to allow convictions for rape where the only evidence of rape is the woman's word. Ever. Not without chucking out the most basic protections we all have under the law (burden of guilt on the prosecution). So that approach not only isn't "best", but is dangerous for the reason I outlined above. Instead of teaching young women to believe in a fairy tale of a system that will protect them, we should teach them the reality of the law, and what not to do if they don't want to end out in that situation. What we should not be doing is telling them that saying no is some magical talisman that will protect them.
Women should be more responsible for themselves, yes.. But we can't just absolve men of responsibility, either. If a man doesn't think he can handle the word "no" in the right way, he should stop the situation before it even gets to that point. It's never the right decision to force someone to have sex.
What he "should do" is wonderful if we assume everyone obeys the rules. But we know that some percentage of the people wont. Your approach basically relies on bad people choosing not to do bad things. That seems unlikely to work.