Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Rape: a counter-cultural view...

A recent court ruling in the UK has judged that the fact that a woman has been drinking should never be taken into account when awarding state compensation for a rape. Previous rulings have also disallowed the fact that a woman was wearing provocative clothing from being considered.

I think these rulings are wrong-headed and damaging - to women.

Before I go any further, of course I am opposed to rape and would never seek to justify it in any way. It is a violent and degrading crime and men who commit it have no excuse.

However, that does not mean that a woman never has any part in the responsibility for what happens to her.

Again, i should clarify, as politically correct thinking will lead people to jump to conclusions about what I am saying. I do not mean that all, or indeed any, women who are raped have provoked the crime in any way. However, I do think that one cannot exclude that possibility a priori in every case, even to the smallest degree.

Further I think that to fail to teach young women about the risks of drinking excessively and dressing provocatively is lunacy. If any of my daughters were to dress provocatively, drink too much, and then get raped, I would certainly feel that the rapist deserved everything the law could throw at him. But I would also believe that my daughter had some responsibility for putting herself in such a situation; further I would believe that I had failed in her upbringing and I too had some responsibility.

None of which would excuse the rapist; but to fail to acknowledge that women have some responsibility in this arena will lead parents to fail to educate them properly.


Kate said...

Trouble is, if you are drunk you may not know what you consented to....

Ben Trovato said...

True indeed. Also your will and judgement are both affected. So in my book, that means you have some responsibility for putting yourself in such a state (assuming your drink wasn't spiked...)