I would disagree with the claim that Tess is necessarily raped because the scene ends with her asleep.
I can think of several scenarios where even in this day and age, there could be some sort of consent, the consent would be naive, or impulsive, but still allowed.
Also, Hardy said himself that it is a seduction.
Even without him, we can establish that it would not work as a story nor as Hardy style of drawing his characters, so it was a seduction.
Example: Tess repeatedly throughout the book refers to her loss of social standing. I am not sure who writes these conflicts of rape vs seduction if they can't understand that although that losing standing and a promise of a perfect husband would be the focus, that these ideas would not be the largest issue if raped, but also would be worded differently. Which are never reflected in Tess's internal voice.
It is also easily deducted by what we know of Hardy's other works. Unless you think Hardy wrote a book with weak characters who are almost comically constricted to stereotypes and tropes, such as The Villain - Alec Stoke, having even the mustache to complete a Snidley Whiplash image in so far as he presents himself...it doesn't explain him later on when they meet again. If you read it with Tess being seduced, then his behavior and conversation makes sense. How is it he is a sexual predator immediate in opportunity and pursuit in Chapter 9 and a milquetoast missionary who slowly mimics what he thinks she wants from him, and what she claims to value in Angel, so she will accept him in chapters 44 onward? It is not possible because it isn't true. And if so, would be the only one dimensional characters Hardy ever wrote.
I am not saying he is not a brute or pushy or manipulative type, I am saying the whole dialogue falls apart with it being villainous assault. Not to mention, why would Tess say to her mom about not telling Tess men could be like that?
Angel is no hero, no savior. While he romanticized her, Tess claims to love him with all her heart, but does not do so as her own self, but as to erase herself and agree with him all the time. Which is also not what Angel wanted in a bride. But still he objectifies her. Read his view when he finally finds her at the lodging with Alec. Tess only desperately writes him when Alec is becoming more becoming to Tess again...she says it almost plainly when she says she likes it when Alec is nice and not when he isn't.
What Tess lost that night, was her right to be who she is, she lost herself. She is prideful throughout the book. Due to one indulgence, one mistake, one moment where she enjoys her blooming sexual drive to kiss Alec back or respond to his seduction that actually carries on to Alec's home as they had only stopped one month before she heads to her home in a previous edition. Which offsets the drunk idealization. Unless one means to say that she was drunk the whole time? We cannot rely on such editions. Only the one we have, whichever it is to be used.
She is upset that she has lost exactly what she says she did. She lost her self-identity and her right to all possibilities. For one moment she regarded him, it was a mistake.
The focus to the history of her ancestors isn't the physicality, it is what she lost being the same as what the women then violated by her ancestors lost. As one can not possible rape the same as another rapist, then there is nothing they all mutually lost as the same interchangeable thing but the sense of self, sense of standing. It can not be positioned so that a violent rape of woman in her ancestor's period has anything else in common. That section clearly says:
It may not have been the most ruthless it could be, but ruthless it was, and a matter than cannot be mended or excused by justification.
Hardy leaves the Chase scene as it is so as to honor the reader in the book and then have the virtue of the reader decide what is the extent of Tess's torture. You see it again when she is telling Alec about what Angel told her about philosophy and dogma and religion. Because if Hardy, making some solid position on any of those topics, endorses any, there will be many people upset by what is offered as pure and what is not, as that would be the proper placement on the scales of justice and religion.
This book is made to enjoy as is, but Hardy is an erudite in the areas of literature and history, who makes an incredible book with complex characters who change as your life changes alongside them. It should be read as such, I am not trying to tell anyone not to get what they want out of the book, or to not view Tess as a victim. I actually have much compassion for Tess and not any for Alec or Angel.
Hardy made a balanced and brilliant book with complex and comprehensive characters because he himself was a very learned man and so his thinking and consistent output of such type of writing, shows there is only seduction.