Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rape and Consent

BBC news:
Men should make certain that a woman has consented to sex to avoid being accused of rape, a new campaign launched by the Home Office is to warn.
Good.

I mean, how hard is it to say "are you sure about this" or similar? That's right, it's not. "Passion killer"? Give me a break.

12 comments:

Raw Carrot said...

Am I right in thinking that the man now has to actually *demonstrate* consent was given if accused of rape? i.e. burden is on man to show he didn't rape.

MatGB said...

That's not my reading, and if so is a little suspect, but I'm definately in favour of reform to ensure consent isn't just assumed, especially when drunk. If both very drunk, then one thing, but if one sober, one inebriated, that's just wrong.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Hey, who needs this "innocent until proven guilty shit", eh? Remember, all men are inherently evil and all women are utterly virtuous...

Mat, remind me again how you actually prove that she said "yes, go for it; I want it now, etc..."?

What's next? We all carry dictophones around with us?

DK

Earl Jackson said...

He's right, Matt. You'd need everyone to carry dictaphones or something. Otherwise it's still "He said, She said..." isn't it? A daft idea, and utterly unworkable.

david.c said...

Matgb is just trying to get into girls' knickers by appearing to 'care' about them. Come off it, man! You'd be first in line to gang-bang a drugged supermodel if she was tied spreadeagled on a bed. Come on,admit it.

Katherine said...

Oh no! What a huge deal it must be for men to have to check that the person they are wanting have sex with also wants to have sex. I mean, what a drag. Sheesh. Far be it for me to suggest that a quick check might actually help both protagonists.

Is this david.c getting everywhere?

Earl Jackson said...

This 'quick check', Katherine; how do you see that being worded, then? And how, post-coitus, do you see the man proving that he did, in fact, carry out such a check? You see, we're back to the dictaphones again, aren't we?

MatGB said...

David, you're right about one thing; I would be first in line. To call the police.

The only thing I will thank you for is not posting a non-existent url to a blog that doesn't seem to exist, well done for the restraint (this time).

Earl/DK? The problem as things were (as the case I discuss in the linked post above demonstrates) is that at the moment, consent is assumed unless evidence exists to the contrary. Leading to an incredibly low convistion rate for rape cases. Horribly low.

My reading is that now, consent is not assumed, it's not "did she say no", but "did she say yes". This strange belief that somehow having sex is going to get you done all the time is warped and something of a straw man.

I would go on, but, essentially, Bookdrunk does it much better today.

Katherine said...

Well you know Earl, I rather think that adults should be able to work it out. if you need to be told how to be sure, then you're probably doing something wrong. I suggest the following simple solution - if you're not sure, ask. Really. It's that simple. Ta-da!

We are, by the way, talking about Home Office Guidance as to what is sensible. Home Office says men should sure if they have their partner's consent. Bear shits in woods. Pope is Catholic etc etc

Earl Jackson said...

Mat's right, except that the girl might say "yes, yes..." and then "no, no..." as part of the arousal stage, where she is teasing the man, goading him with her eyes, etc. In these circumstances, the man won't know if he's coming or going.

Gert said...

Hmm, fair point. Just hope we're not going to end up exchanging consent forms. That WOULD be a bit of passion killer...

Katy Newton said...

There are no assumptions in rape cases apart from the assumption which exists in every criminal case: that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The current campaign by the Home Office is just a campaign: an attempt to warn men that they need to be sure that the woman they are with definitely does want to have sex. There has been no shift of the burden of proof.

I don't think that standards should be different for rape cases than they are in other cases; I can't see how that would be fair. Any case in which the conviction is dependent on the word of one person against another is going to be difficult to prove and the answer to that is not to saddle one side with the impossible burden of proving a negative, as it were.

Having said that, I can't actually see anything wrong with a campaign warning men to be sure about consent, although in all fairness it ought to be accompanied by a similar one warning women to make their intentions or lack of intentions clear as well. Misunderstandings do happen. Sauce, goose, gander etc.