Reading the Britblog roundup guest hosted by Philobiblion this week, there are several articles on the worrying Amnesty Report on British attitudes to rape. Unsurprisingly, this has also been a topic of conversation amongst some of my friends, and, well, I've already chosen my nomination for next weeks round up.
It's from a friends personal journal, normally the source of frivolity and light hearted banter. Not today however. You see, she, like Rachel has also, in the past, been the victim of a rapist. And she wants to do something about it. Specifically, she's read the Amnesty report, and finds it's questions to be biased and leading, and the media reports have blown the numbers up out of proportion to the actual answers. Doesn't mean there isn't a worrying number of people who do still blame the woman when she's raped (or the man, for that matter, it does happen). However, that's not her main concern. Her real concern are the separate, but linked reports, of the court case involving the drunken girl and the security guard.
Now, when I first heard about this, I agreed with the verdict. She was drunk, and didn't even remember the event, it only came out it had happened because he admitted to it. He said it was consensual, she didn't know one way or the other, case closed. However, I've been persuaded that it shouldn't be. Yes, under current law, he's innocent. But why? She was so drunk her friends were worried about her. So drunk that she needed to be carried home. So drunk she didn't know what she was doing. We're not talking 'just failed the breathalyser, give me a break officer' drunk here, we're talking 'unable to look after herself properly' drunk. So drunk, in fact, that she's unable to give consent to anything. Is that right?
Is it right that a sober man can have sex with someone unable to think for themselves and not face any consequences? If it was Rohipnol, then no. But if it's alcohol? Debi thinks the law should be changed. She's persuaded me of her case. Now I want to get others to join in, or, if you do disagree, explain why, and give reasons we can try to answer. I find rape to be the most reprehensible of crimes, and I find the attitudes of certain sectors within society to be, well, wrong. No means no, but yes should not be the assumed state.