Friday, March 23, 2007

Also, what the fuck is up with the file picture in the newspaper article?

Isobel Redmond is normally one of the few Liberals I like. Not today.

A South Australian court last week decided that if you consent to one sex act, it is not rape if you then don't consent to a subsequent act and the perpetrator continues despite your lack of consent. Because, you know, it's not like it's your body or anything.

Well, that's not quite right. The court in fact decided that in a particular case, it was inconsistent to find that one sex act (fellatio) was consensual and the other (vaginal intercourse) was non-consensual, given the context and the evidence. I'm not sure how that can be the case, personally: it is in fact possible that she (reluctantly) consented to fellatio but then protested when he attempted intercourse. The judges appear to have said "but there was a series of events that took place over a maximum of five minutes" which…you can't change your mind in five minutes?

So it's a horrible, horrible decision. Not that it's much comfort for the victim, but least it's getting horrible publicity, and for once the State government's habit of criticising every legal decision that happens in this place works out: they're tabling new laws that specify that if consent is withdrawn after sex has begun, it becomes rape.

Which raises a fairly obvious question. If you are having sex with someone, and they tell you to stop, that they don't want to be having sex with you, and you ignore that and carry on anyway…what else could that possibly be except, you know, rape?

But wait, what am I thinking? After all, if they start legislating to prevent sexual assault, who knows what might happen. Why, if that happens, 'even married couples will have to sign a contract before they have sex'.

That's Isobel Redmond saying that, right there.

Apparently, making a law that recognises that if you change your mind about an intimate encounter, express that you do not want something physical to happen and some asshole goes ahead and forces it on you anyway IS RAPE is the same thing as requiring every married couple to sign a document before having loving and consensual sex.

Here's a tip, Ms Redmond, and I'm going to speak in small words so that you understand it. Ready?

If my husband rolls over in bed and throws a less-than-platonic arm around me, and I wriggle around and start kissing him, and an hour later the bedclothes are on the floor and we both have big grins, no-one is going to find themselves in a court of law a year later. If you yourself aren't convinced that you (or your partner) can recognise consent without formal documentation thereof, that is your issue. But you know perfectly well that people do not end up in court defending themselves from rape charges unless they've been accused of rape by their victim. And you also know that the number of false accusations is minuscule. And you also know that when you look at the statistics, only around 2% of reported rapes in this State end in conviction. Reported rapes. Which on a conservative estimate, number perhaps 10% of actual rapes.

So you also know that the risk in this area of law is not that perfectly well-meaning gentlemen who pursued consensual sexual relations without a signature on the dotted line will find themselves in gaol. It's that women like the one in the above case, who found herself on an empty stretch of road with a much bigger man who forced her head onto his penis and then turned her over forcibly and raped her, telling her all the time (by his own admission) that she was enjoying it really, who are found by a friend curled into a foetal position on her couch some hours later, and who have gone through a trial and an appeal, are told that their withdrawal of consent is unrealistic and illogical.

The idea, Ms Redmond, that without written documentation or express formalistic verbal consent (the Antioch strawman) perfectly innocent people can find themselves accused of rape is a deliberate obfuscation, a deliberate misdirection, a deliberate fucking LIE. And you're a smart, educated, well-informed woman. So you know that.

Which makes you a fucking asshole.


Blogger QuietStorm said...

Came across your blog via a comment over at Shakespeare's Sister. I like it a lot. :)

What is going on in Redmond's head? As you say, she knows damn well what the facts are - so why is she trying to campaign for women to continue being treated like public property?

29 March, 2007  

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