I’ve never really been a fan of any of the Murdoch media outlets, but the following tweet by @SkyNews was a new low even by their standards:
A city worker has been jailed for raping a drunk woman in an alleyway in London Bridge https://t.co/22xjtCBfdt
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 5, 2018
Judging by the comments, I’m not the only person who took issue with this sloppy “journalism” (assuming it can even be dignified by the word).
Surely, the only headline necessary was:
Man convicted of raping woman
Or, maybe since they drew attention to the fact that the victim had been drinking:
Man convicted of raping vulnerable woman
Either way, the point is that it is the woman who is the victim, not the man. The man is a criminal, nothing less. The only person culpable for his crime is him.
Women have been making this point since the beginning of time, but it’s is long since time that us Y-chromosomed types got involved too.
Lets make this quite clear:
- Flirting does not equal consent
- “Suggestive” behaviour does not equal consent
- How someone dresses does not equal consent
- Drinking alcohol does not equal consent
- Cuddling does not equal consent
- Foreplay does not equal consent
Let’s not even restrict ourselves here. Even if we allow that some other form of sexual activity, e.g. oral sex, implies the possibility of consent, it doesn’t actually explicitly mean consent has been given for any other form of sexual activity.
Rape is a crime. Sex without consent is rape. If consent has been withdrawn because the woman changes her mind, and you continue, it’s still rape.
There are still far too many men that seem to think that they have an entitlement to sex. Let’s be totally clear on this one, they don’t! No one is entitled to sex. Rape is real, rape is a crime and the only person responsible for rape is the rapist himself. No action on the part of the victim invites violation. Women do not encourage men to rape them. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply either a rape apologist or is making excuses for their own inability to act like a decent human being.
And yes, I know it goes without saying that #NotAllMen are sex criminals, but her’s the thing, it may very well not be every man, but it could quite easily be any man. Sex criminals generally don’t wear badges announcing the fact, so women generally have no way of knowing if they are engaging with one or not until it’s too late.
I would like to think that, by the law of averages, there are more “good” men out there than not, so in the majority of cases the woman should be safe to go about her business, but I could just be being hopelessly naive.
Naive or not, the simple fact is that no man should ever find an excuse for this kind behaviour in another man. Every time we try to mitigate a rapists actions, we belittle the crime they have committed and undermine the innocence of their victims.
We shouldn’t need to educate people to identify who is in the wrong in these cases, but clearly we still do. Sadly #NotAllMen will stand up and be counted, but it doesn’t need to be every man, so long as any man is willing to do what is right.