Whose rape is it anyway?

23 04 2012

I’m glad those who named Ched wassisname’s victim are being investigated.

Why a bunch of men and women feel that they have the right to lift the legally granted anonymity of a rape victim is beyond me. Where is the humanity in that? All for a fucking football player. Are we so desperate to worship our heroes that we will assume they can do no wrong? That they are somehow above the law? That they don’t deserve the same punishment as Joe Average on the street committing the same crime in the same circumstances?

Has society really not advanced from believing that owning a vagina makes it and its owner public property?

These aren’t only typical laddish and misogynistic football fans harping on about the victim being at fault, oh no there are young females too blaming the victim for being raped, calling her a drunken slag and more. I wonder if they’d feel the same should it happen to them. With current statistics suggesting 1 in 4 women are being raped or subject to attempted rape, there is a high chance it will be their turn soon. Of course in their psychic wisdom and human invincibility, they “know” they will never get themselves into that kind of situation, so they’re safe to sit in their ivory towers and pass judgement. I’m sure the victim in this case never expected to be raped either. If only life was so black and white. If only they could guarantee their safety, because as we all know every rape is the same, every time. NOT. Based on current popular thought, being sexually assaulted was obviously my fault for walking my dog at 10am on a weekday, entirely sober and dressed in huge baggy denims, jumper and cap. The fact it was behind a police station was obviously a challenge.

I wonder what I did to “ask for it”? I wonder how that set up could have made me a slag? Or was I an acceptable victim of sexual assault because I didn’t actively put myself out there to be attacked? Because i didn’t know my attacker? Or was my being in the wrong place at the wrong time somehow my fault because i happened to be the one with the vagina in the locale?

Does it honestly make a difference what a person was wearing or what they had agreed to prior to withholding consent? NO MEANS NO, and it means NO from the start, just as much as it means NO half way through the event.

Now I understand NO is a difficult concept for some to grasp, so lets take sex out of the equation for a moment… Let’s look at it another way.

You go out for dinner with a friend/acquaintance/complete stranger, there is every chance you’ll eat something, but it’s well within your right to say no thanks. As it turns out you’re not hungry so you nibble on a few breadsticks and when it comes to ordering say “No thanks”. Chances are your friend may ask you a few times more, double and triple check, “Are you sure?”, they may even egg you on a bit more… Gosh this is feeling a little awkward, eh? Your friend may be a bit annoyed at your decision, but the chances of them pinning you down and force feeding you are slim. The friend may give you the cold shoulder afterwards but a decent friend would understand that you may be full up, that you have your boundaries… A decent friend would respect this.

But what if you order dinner and start eating, and then change your mind half way through the main course? Do you admit it and stop eating? Do you carry on against your wishes to avoid a scene? What if you decide to stop eating but your friend disagrees with your decision? What if your friend thinks, ‘hang on they said they wanted dinner, they’re fucking we’ll gonna eat it’, and forces you to continue eating be that by fear, guilt, coercion or force? Is the friend within their rights? Is it ok? Do you expect to get a hard time from third parties because you lost your appetite and were forced to eat anyway?

Why is it so different if you change your mind about sex?

Whether its eating or sex, a person is well within their rights to stop at any point in time. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, including mid sexual act. It may be a little awkward but that’s the worst it ever should be.

What if A and C are out for a meal and they are consensually munching away at their nachos when B joins them. C is kinda full and wants to stop eating, or perhaps C doesn’t fancy any desert. Can gatecrasher B forcefeed C against her will, because C originally agreed to have dinner with A? Let’s not forget, consent could be given to person A but not person B. Does that mean B can just take what they want from C because their mate A was allowed? Can B force feed C because C was happy to have dinner with A?

Can you see how ridiculous the argument seems with an analogous yet highly unlikely restaurant situation? Why does the fact that sex is part of the equation make it OK in the minds of some to force themselves on others without consent, whereas force-feeding would never be considered acceptable? A reasonable person would never blame, attack and harass C for not wanting to finish dinner, or for refusing an additional course in a meal; yet for many it is fair game to do so if the meal is replaced with a scenario concerning sex.

Young men and women seem to think that because an intoxicated girl took the company of one footballer and consented to sexual intercourse with him, that his mate was free to turn up, join in, take what he wanted and face no repercussions. There are two massive issues with this. The first is regarding consent as discussed above, the second related to the first, that the girl was intoxicated and in no position to give consent. Not just a wee bit tipsy but out of her face, fucked up drunk, she may even have been drugged. She may not have been at that point of intoxication with person A, but all evidence suggests by the time B turned up she was, and she had no recollection or control over what she was involved in from then on.

Many people seem to think its her own fault for getting into such a situation. “She was drunk, she should have know better”. Perhaps she should have been wiser about the company she kept that night or the amount of alcohol consumed, but she should NEVER have to consider that someone will rape her just because she is intoxicated. It shouldn’t matter what state she was in, she has the right to feel and be safe at all times. Being drunk is not an open invitation to be violated. Just because someone is drunk doesn’t mean they deserve any less respectful treatment. For people who believe that is not the case, they really have to stop and consider what they are suggesting.

Such degree of intoxication means that she could never have given consent, anyone having sex with her in that state is guilty of rape. That’s the law at its most basic. It’s also common decency not to take advantage of someone unfit to make informed decisions, albeit temporarily. A decent human being would have clearly understood she was in no fit state to make such a decision regarding consent, especially regarding gatecrasher B. This of course relies on the concept of a decent human being. There are few in the UK who have not experienced intoxication to a debilitating, mind altering degree, I’m sure everyone who has experienced that state would hope that those around them would not see fit to manipulate and take advantage of them, especially not to commit a despicable and violating crime against them.

This girl may have consented to sex with person A, as the court agreed she did, but person A had an equal moral responsibility to ensure her safety, not to just pass her onto his mate when he was done with her. She wasn’t a piece of meat or property or a joint to be shared around, she was a human being with feelings and a compete loss of capacity to make any decisions regarding sex.

Now here is what really gets to me about this victim blaming, especially in the aftermath of a conviction; this young girl is someone’s daughter, she could be someone’s sister, one day she may be someone’s partner or mother… Of all those blaming her for what happened to her, would you say the same of your mother, sister, daughter, wife, friend?

When someone takes sexual advantage of a woman in no fit state to consent, they are by legal definition committing a sexual assault. Any decent and reasonable human being would take a few moments to assess the situation and wonder whether sex with an intoxicated, possibly drugged and passed out human is morally justified. Now think about how you would feel if it was your sister or your daughter who was drunk and being raped?

And when sex is meant to be a pleasurable experience, who really benefits from sex with a person so intoxicated they have no idea what they are doing? It can’t be the most interesting sex, it’s unlikely to be reciprocated and at this point, any normal rational human being would stop what they were doing and have a wank instead, if they were even daft enough to start in the first place.

I get sickened seeing how people are defending the actions of a convicted rapist. His appeal at this stage is irrelevant. Until his appeal, he is still a convicted rapist. He’s more than a very naughty boy, he’s a sexual predator who took advantage of an extremely drunk girl without her express consent. She is someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s future wife and/or mother. It may not be sexy to stop and say “do you consent?” but it sure as hell could save you from 5 years inside prison if you do so. Life isn’t some Hollywood movie, moving seamlessly from bar to sofa to bed. There are practicalities. It’s not ideal but its safe and surely safety is the most important thing of all?

Those who are now naming this girl on social networks and yes even Sky news, believe they are enacting justice. How can anyone justify that kind of illegal behaviour? It takes some kind of deranged fanboy/girl to want to punish a rape victim further and prolong her agony, all because their sporting hero was caught and convicted. The attack itself may not be something she can recall but the associated thoughts, feelings and fears of the aftermath will always be there.

When you have been sexually assaulted you are left with a fear, not necessarily of the attack itself but for your future safety. You have been violated in the most intimate way and you cannot guarantee it will never happen again. It’s not something you are aware is going to happen when you wake up one day, and the unknown is the scariest part of it. I know that I feared repercussions when I was sexually assaulted. The fear was irrational, they didn’t have my address, although it wouldn’t have been hard to find out back then. All it took was the idea there was a nutter relative wanting to teach me a lesson or shut me up and I was trapped in a prison far worse than the attack itself. The agoraphobia and fear of the unknown for me was worse than the attack. Seeing my attacker 5 years later in the street walking his dog sent me into a panic, what if he remembers me? What if he finds out where I live? I didn’t go home for days afterwards.

Now there is a young girl who has deranged lunatics online, naming her and threatening her and defaming her, all because their football team has lost a decent player to illegal behaviour. He chose to break the law, she did not choose to be the victim of a Rape or the resulting vigilante behaviour, after his conviction. There was no if, but, or maybe about it, he was tried and convicted in a court of law by a jury of his peers in front of a professional time served judge. His co-accused was let off. This does not strike me as injustice. One accused had a case to answer, the other, regardless of how morally reprehensible his behaviour was, did not.

I honestly cannot get my head around the actions of people who feel it is their duty to name and threaten a girl who is almost certainly left doubting many aspects of her life and relationships. Placing her in a greater state of fear than she will have as a natural response to the assault, makes these nutters just as bad as the rapist. Worse because they hide behind the cloak of anonymity. Or so they seem to think. I sincerely hope that those who are making threats and revealing personal details about this girl will experience the full force of the law. I hope that those who advocate the actions of the rapist footballer never find themselves, or someone they know and care about, in a similar situation as the victim in this case. Although I’ll be perfectly honest it took a lot of soul-searching not to wish such an experience on these people to teach them a lesson and for that I am not proud.




One response

25 04 2012

I wrote this while half asleep and can see the glaring problems with grammar, spelling & structure. If I can be arsed I will edit it later.

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