Rape is not Rape

One of the more pernicious ideas of modern times is that all rape is rape, that all and any sex (although rape is more properly thought of as a crime of violence, of power over someone, but that\’s another matter) against the will of a woman is the same and must be treated and punished equally. Finally, even The Guardian is getting the point that this isn\’t actually the way to deal with it:

A more fruitful approach might be a two-tier offence, with the highest penalties reserved for "aggravated" rapes, allowing juries to convict in more typical cases without fearing that this would lead to the maximum life term.

Currently, when tried, the possible sentence for a drunken misunderstanding over consent is the same as that for a violent stranger rape. No wonder juries are hesitant to convict. A gradation of offences will do much to remedy at least that part of the problem.

That is, an acknowledgement that not all rapes are equal.

7 thoughts on “Rape is not Rape”

  1. “Rape takes place out of sight, witnesses are rare and proceedings often turn on one person’s word against another”

    Aren’t most crimes like that?

  2. Interesting way to increase the conviction rate for rape. Of course almost every man put forward for the lesser charge will be found guilty. After all it will still be one persons word against the other. With lesser punishment they will err on the other side now.

    Still don’t see too much justice in this law.

  3. “One of the more pernicious ideas of modern times”?! I think there are quite a few more troubling ideas in the world today than that which sees a rapist accused of being a slightly worse rapist.

    Those, like you and John Redwood, who take this line never seem able to explain quite why “a drunken misunderstanding over consent” IS actually particularly different. It’s arguably even worse. Would you rather wake up next to your rapist, or never see him again?

    I also find it shocking how casually you use this phrase “a drunken misunderstanding over consent”, as if it’s quite usual and understandable.

    Tim adds: Are you trying to say that drunken misunderstandings are unusual? Difficult to understand? That alcohol (it being one of the reasons people take it) causes befuddlement and a diminution of the intellectual capacities was, I thought, fairly common knowledge.

  4. http://womanofexperience.blogspot.com/2007/12/careless-talk-may-cost-lives.html
    I wrote about my views on this and at the risk of upsetting JS I think there is a difference. I also believe that by allowing serious violent rape to be lumped in with what we call date rape and yes, misunderstandings, you do the victims of the violent crime a disservice.

    Women also need to take action to ensure they are not in a position where there are drunken misunderstandings. It is possible.

  5. I understand that Mr Brown is to float the idea of presumed consent with the intenton of bringing our rape statistics into line with those of Spain.

  6. Ahem ! why are you not not thinking of unwanted sex between the gay community members in any way -as well – drunken or otherwise.
    And dare I say it – some women are rather forward too. But then everyone knows that men can’t say no.

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