13 May 2009

Inspired by the furore of Matthew Johns

Situations that are Definitely Rape:
In case you have a hard time figuring it out, these are some situations that are Definitely Rape/Sexual Assault!

- Consenting to have sex with two footballers, and upon entering the bedroom, being forced to have sex with another eight.
- Consenting to perform oral sex on your partner, and then being forced to have intercourse even though you said no.
- When you tell your husband you do not want to have sex and he makes you do it anyway.
- Meeting a guy in a bar, kissing him, going back to his place and telling him that you do not want to have sex tonight, then he forces himself on you.
- Beginning to have consensual sex with your partner, realising you are not in the mood, or you are being hurt, telling your partner to stop, and they continue anyway.
- Getting so drunk at a party that some guy helps you back to a room to lie down, then has sex with you while you are too drunk to move or talk.
- Having sex with one guy, then having sex with his friend, not wanting to have sex with his third friend, but he forces himself on you anyway.

The common theme in all of these situations is that somebody GOT RAPED. Rape is not rough sex. Rape is about control. It is showing another person that you do not view or value them as a person. Sex is the means by which to control. Rape is not about sex.

'Sluts' are not free game because they had sex with numerous people consensually before. When someone says they do not want to have sex with you, at the point in time that you are requesting sex, you are not allowed to have sex with them. Victims of rape DO NOT have a responsibility to NOT GET RAPED. RAPISTS have a responsibility NOT to rape. It is the rapist's fault that he raped someone. Rape is not a mistake.

If you are genuinely worried that your sexual encounter with a woman could be misconstrued as rape I urge you to take a few moments to check a few things.
- Are you sober? Is she sober? Is she drunk? Is she drunker than you? Is she so drunk that you doubt her ability to answer a simple math problem such as "What does 1 + 1 equal"?
- So you're both sober huh? Have you both let each other know that you like each other, and in so many words, respect each other as individuals?
- Have you discussed having sex before? Did she expressly say that she was or was not interested?
- Oh, so you think you're about to have sex huh? Is she making noises and letting you know in no uncertain terms that yes, oh yes, oh dear me, I really would enjoy having sex with you! At this moment in time, I am consenting and asking your consent in return!....in so many words?

Basically, if you aren't getting Enthusiastic Consent, back the fuck off. And if you are truly afraid or unsure of how your sexual advances will be taken by a woman, perhaps you should try getting to know her and earning her trust before you think it's okay by any stretch of imagination to just have sex with her anyway.


Fran said...

I just don't know ... I mean, I agree with all of the above definitely, but I don't know if I agree with the whole Matthew Johns / footballers stuff. I hate football and footballers as much as the next person but there's something about the way they (esp Matthew Johns) are being crucified that doesn't sit right with me. At no point has it been said that she didn't consent to sex with the others as well. They've all said she was a willing participant. Hey, I look back at some stuff I did as a 19 year old (not sex related stuff I've always been fairly sensible in that vein) and go "omg silly Fran! so silly" but I take personal responsibility for it..

But you know there are only a certain number of people who know what happened in that room, and I am not one of them, and that's about it really isn't it.

I hope you don't hate me now :(

Christopher said...

"RAPISTS have a responsibility NOT to rape"

Quoting you out of context.

zombietron said...

Fran - I don't hate you :)
I see what you're getting at but really...she thought she was having sex with two guys...she walks into a room and there's a whole lot more. I really don't think she's going to have the courage in that situation to say "hey I didn't sign up for this". And even if she DID say no, over and over again - there's ten of them and one of her. If ten people say you didn't say something - who is everyone going to believe?
Truly, none of us are really going to know what went on in that room, and I don't really care. I just wrote this because of some of the disgusting attitudes that were being paraded around during all the discussion of this yesterday.
PS...I still love you :P

Sleepydumpling said...

Thank you for writing this post. We need to keep saying this over and over again until the message gets through.

Nicole said...

I love this article, but one thing is bothering me and that it is possible for a man to be raped. Anyone can be raped, they do not have to be female to be raped and they do not have to be male to rape.

That's my two cents. Great article, mate.

zombietron said...

Thanks Nicole - I completely agree, possibly a point for a future post.

Anonymous said...

I am in agreement with Fran on this topic. I too abhor the way footballers treat women in general, but straight after watching the 'Four Corners' program on Monday night I had doubts about the veracity of Clare's version of events in the NZ hotel room.

In my opinion, the journalist was completely biased in her reporting of Clare's case. I always believe journalists should ask the most obvious question to avoid being accused of unfairness. To my mind, that question was: "Did you object at any time or make moves to leave the room at any time?" I also saw an interview with Sarah Ferguson (the journo) the Friday before the episode aired. She said she saw no malice whatsoever in Clare. It escapes me how Sarah Ferguson could reach that conclusion when Clare stated that she wants the lives of those involved destroyed and that she'd shoot them if she had a chance.

Matthew Johns and Brett Furman (another player involved) have always maintained that Clare consented to the activities on this evening. One would expect them to take that position. But there are two external factors which suggest that Claire had some control over what was happening.

Firstly, at the end of the encounter Clare allegedly rejected having sex with one of the men in the room and again propositioned Matthew Johns, which he declined. This account was relayed by another person in the room at the time, and subsequently corroborated by Matthew Johns in the ACA interview.

Secondly, there are the revelations in the past 24 hours by a former work colleague of Clare's that Clare bragged about the encounter in the days immediately afterwards. I have worked as a court reporter on many rape trials. One of the elements a jury is instructed to look for in coming to a verdict is 'evidence of fresh complaint'. This means: how did the complainant act immediately afterwards? Were they upset? Did they tell a close friend or the authorities about the allegation? In Clare's case, we have statements from this work colleague who says immediately afterwards Clare seemed proud and said she had a great time. Perhaps word of this encounter got around and Clare's reputation suffered damage, after which she regretted taking part and then made the complaint to the police? I understand the complaint wasn't made until about a week later.

As I said at the start, I don't condone the rugby league players - or any other men - who treat women as disposable sex toys. However morally reprehensible their actions may be, if a woman consents to group sex, there is no crime.

zombietron said...

Thank you for your comment Anon, and I'm happy to see an opinion from the other side that has clearly been thought through deeply.
My only two beefs are:
1 - why is the coworker's word taken as gospel, and Clare's taken as hearsay? Further, as I said up above - if one person is claiming something and ten people are opposing them, of course it's hard to believe that one person.
2 - Perhaps I'm wrong, but when somebody is charged with a crime they are innocent until proven guilty - their reputation may be tarnished, but they will be proven either innocent or guilty in the end. In rape trials, it seems to me that the victim is the one who is lying until proven truthful. Would people hold the same attitude if one person accused another of stealing something from them, etc?

Anonymous said...

Hi again.

You asked in your first point why the coworker's word is taken as gospel and Clare's as hearsay. I haven't assumed that the coworker's account is accurate. However, given that it is consistent with and reinforces the account of the men in the room at the time (that being that Clare was a willing participant), to me it carries more weight at this point than Clare's allegations. As I said, this was a downfall of the ABC journalist in failing to challenge in any way Clare's version of events or at least ask the basic question that was certainly in my mind. So it seems that, conversely, you are prepared to accept Clare's unchallenged version as gospel and question the observations of someone with no apparent vested interest who gives an account of her behaviour immediately after these events.

As to your second point - having spectated in many court trials, I can assure you that rape complainants aren't the only ones presumed to be lying by defence counsel. Any defence barrister worth his salt puts the main complainant in any matter through the wringer, whether it be a case involving common assault, armed robbery, whatever. It is only fair that the evidence of any witness be tested in this manner; otherwise we may as well abolish trial by jury and automatically convict anyone who's ever charged with an offence. Of course, that is a ridiculous proposition, but that is effectively what the procedure would be if the evidence of witnesses were admitted unchallenged.

Bardy said...

Thank you for writing this, Tasha.