Is this woman an idiot or what?

Or perhaps her first language is not English?

If you kill a person, you’re a murderer. If you steal, no one would hesitate to call you a thief. But in America, when you force yourself on someone sexually, some people will jump through flaming hoops not to call you a rapist.

If you kill someone you could commit euthanasia, perform an abortion, be an executioner, be found guilty of manslaughter, be found to have caused a death accidentally. None of these are synonyms for murder nor would everyone agree that you should be called a murderer in all of those circumstances.

So it is with “forcing yourself on someone sexually”. There are differences, gradations, and not all of them are rape and nor would all of them mean that you should be called a rapist.

This is not just the Whoopi Goldberg “rape rape” point. There is, for example, a difference between attempted rape (which is still to force yourself on someone sexually) and rape. Between sexual abuse and rape, between copping a feel and rape.

Language is important and it’s not being so treated.

 

16 comments on “Is this woman an idiot or what?

  1. Of course, in some circumstances, if you kill enough people, you get a knighthood and they call you a hero.

  2. “How can we stop rape if we’re not even willing to call it what it is?”

    How can you stop rape anyway? Kill every male on the planet?

  3. I’m not particularly bothered about this naming spat. I’m more than slightly concerned about the concept of universities having “sexual assault”, or even “rape” policies. I know some US unis do have special campus police forces, but you’d think that something as, well, blatantly criminal, as rape (or other forms of sexual assault) would be dealt with by the criminal justice system, rather than by some sort of board of used-to-be-academics-now-petty-bureaucrats?

    If you’re found guilty, by a jury of your peers (well, remembering my time at uni, probably superiors) then being rusticated should be the least of your problems. And if you are found not-guilty well, then, you shouldn’t get a second trial from an organisation you have probably paid vast amounts (being the US) of money to.

  4. “There is a difference between attempted [offence] and [offence]”.

    Why should that be? If a person is beaten to within an inch of their life, and they only survive thanks to 21st century medical technology, it hardly seems just that the attacker be charged with mere “attempted” murder.

  5. > If a person is beaten to within an inch of their life, and they only survive thanks to 21st century medical technology, it hardly seems just that the attacker be charged with mere “attempted” murder.

    I’m inclined to agree, but that’s surely an edge case. I believe that a lot of attempted murder charges result in no injury at all — burning down someone’s house when they’re not in it, for instance, if the prosecution can show that you thought they were in it. I would hope that sentencing reflects the difference between useless and damn-near-successful attempts at murder, but I am not optimistic when it comes to British sentencing.

  6. > This is not just the Whoopi Goldberg “rape rape” point.

    Well, I should fucking well hope not, since Goldberg’s point was “It’s not rape if you’re a great filmmaker who opposes George W Bush.”

  7. Andrew M, they can obviously only be charged with murder if the person dies, because it’s only murder if a person dies. I know you know this, obviously, but it’s an important point.

    If what you’re really complaining about is disparity in sentences between the sort of case you describe and a murder where the murder was not of the worst kind (ie a heat of the moment stabbing carried out by an otherwise law abiding person – which actually describes quite a lot of murders), then it’s possible for a person convicted of attempt murder to be given a life sentence, and indeed to serve longer in prison than a person convicted of murder.

    It all depends on the circumstances.

    Personally, I think the far bigger scandal is the difficulty in getting attempt murder charged in the first place.

    I am personally aware of a case where a man stabbed another man over 50 times and the case didn’t go forward as attempt murder.

    My sister (senior criminal prosecution and defence barrister) prosecuted a case involving a pub fight where the attacker (multiple convictions) put his man down (unprovoked) and then went back for some football-style afters as the man lay helpless on the floor.

    The man on the floor, a young married man with children and a bright future, was left with about 40% of his brain function and his life ruined.

    The CPS wanted to charge GBH and my sister had to fight for attempt murder (which she got home at court).

    Many counsel in those sorts of situations take the line of least resistance and go with GBH.

  8. JuliaM – I’m sure the radfems don’t mean to kill us all. Maybe just herd us into camps? Make us wear a big yellow phallic symbol on our clothing as a warning to womyn? Or just hector us till we think “fuck this, I’m going gay”. Which seems superficially tempting, but I’ll be in a cold grave before I tolerate another man’s Y-fronts on the floor of my bedroom.

    “As reported by Al Jazeera America, colleges across the country are replacing the word “rape” in their sexual assault policies with “non-consensual sex” because schools don’t want label students “rapists”.”

    Now, let’s assume this is true for a moment.

    Jessica seems to believe it’s because American campuses are rapey rape factories full of rapists due to the rape culture, and university administrations want to accomodate the rapefest. Feminists like to claim something like one in three girls at US colleges are victims of rape or sexual assault.

    Are they? Of course not. Even the rape capital of the world, South Africa, doesn’t even remotely begin to approach 30% of its female population being sexually molested. Is Stanford more dangerous than Soweto? Of course it bloody isn’t.

    So why would univetsities update their policies to refer to non-consensual sex instead of just rape? Because this widens the scope of their disciplinary procedures against randy teenage boys. Because undergraduates don’t – outside the fever dreams of feminists – have a “rape culture”, but they do have a drunk sex culture, and that’s causing a problem when young women wake up the next morning with a hangover and regrets, and rather than change their behaviour decide to blame the drunk guy they hooked up with and lodge complaints with the university administration and demand lachrymose candlelight demonstrations – anything except stop behaving like dipsomaniac tarts.

    So this would be an example of universities bending over backwards to accomodate feminist demands that they police the sexual behaviour of male students, including disciplinary action in circumstances that would never attract any criminal liability. Remember when undergraduates were expected to manage their own private lives like adults? Those days are gone. Higher education is becoming more like high school by the day.

    Of course, when you give in to feminist demands they just cry, stamp their feet, and issue bolder demands. Maybe Jessica would be content if every male student was chemically castrated. But I doubt it. She’d probably fantasise that they were out to rape her with their noses or something.

  9. So why would univetsities update their policies to refer to non-consensual sex instead of just rape? Because this widens the scope of their disciplinary procedures against randy teenage boys.

    ^^This. it is many years since I was at university (which was happily during one of the periods of relative sanity between cultural extremes) but even then there were suggestions that remorse could be seen as ex post facto non-consent. Not by the majority of people, not by sensible people, but you had to tread bloody carefully if you wanted to suggest that this was barking.

  10. sam – “it is many years since I was at university (which was happily during one of the periods of relative sanity between cultural extremes) but even then there were suggestions that remorse could be seen as ex post facto non-consent. Not by the majority of people, not by sensible people, but you had to tread bloody carefully if you wanted to suggest that this was barking.”

    There is a push to re-define consent as well. Consent has to be not just consent but something more that I forget off hand. Well informed, properly considered consent one assumes.

    Barking is too polite.

  11. That’s one of the drawbacks of a campus university, I suppose. I went to decidedly non-campus Manchester where students could pick up the local women as readily as the other students. Maybe the blokes in the American universities should shun their female peers, hit the bars, and start banging the local women?

  12. Oh, and incidentally, one of the strong points I’ve noticed about British women is their ability to spot an asshole at 100 yards. I put this down to their naivety being removed by two or three sexual encounters they were sweet-talked into, and subsequently regretted, when they were at university. It’s probably not nice being shagged by the campus player and dumped the next day, but it toughens you up for the future and makes you a bit less susceptible to cheesy chat-up lines. It’s actually pretty healthy in the long run, best to learn men can be arseholes early in life, I.e before you marry one.

    By contrast, I’ve found a lot of foreign women are hopelessly naive well into their 30s and fall for cheesy chat-up lines which their British sisters would laugh at.

  13. > I’ve found a lot of foreign women are hopelessly naive well into their 30s and fall for cheesy chat-up lines which their British sisters would laugh at.

    Is this why you work abroad, Tim?

  14. Sam – Yarp. When I was at uni – mainly enjoying the subsidised pints and spectacularly failing to get off with gorgeous freshers before dropping in on the odd lecture – people had this crazy idea that young women were the equals of their male peers, and capable of navigating their own sex lives without the staff getting involved. Because they’re not your parents and it’s not school.

    I now understand that all men are rapey bastards and young women are basically children who need special protection from their own choices. Thanks, feminists.

    SMFS – well, obviously if you don’t get written consent to heterosexual sex, signed in triplicate, witnessed by an impartial commitee of Womens Studies lecturers, and with a mandatory 14 day cool off period before the shagging begins, then you’re a rapist.

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