This morning I listened as men confessed to wife beating, although confessed suggests remorse, even perhaps an understanding of the harm they had done. They were not in the least apologetic. In fact they had phoned a radio show to tell the presenter of the crimes they has committed. The phone in was prompted by another man, a politician video blogging about how it was not that bad. After all who hasn’t gone out, had a few beers and done something they later regretted?
The host was sympathetic as the men gave quite intimate details of their offences, even laughing and pointing out they were still married and if what they had done was that bad then surely their wives would have left them? The wives were not invited to comment. After all this is not a subject where their opinions were necessary, by remaining married they had shown their opinions on the subjects, that being beaten did no harm, and was, as politician, husbands and hosts all agreed, just one of the many things that happens in a relationship. What is a black eye or broken bone in the long term? We all learn to tolerate our partners and their idiosyncrasies.
Unbelievable? Not if you change the crime from GBH to rape. This is exactly the phone in I attempted to eat my breakfast to on Radio 5 this morning, a national BBC station, prompted by the ramblings of George Galloway, a politician so devoid in irony he founded a party called respect and yesterday said this.
“Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them.
“It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘do you mind if I do it again?’
“It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”
You can watch the whole thing here.
Now there is a whole other blog about the fact a phone in about “legitimate” rape was dominated by male voices. I occasionally contribte to 5 and their researchers have my phone number. Strangely though they only ever want my views on parenting, and not politics or rape. But to get back to the subject at hand.
2 men, there may have been more, I turned over to classic fm before I ranted myself into a bad mood, admitted to committing a crime, on live radio. Because under British law, sex with a sleeping partner is already defined as rape. That’s right we are living in the feminazi dystopia where you need to ask someone if they want sex before any sex takes place!
Sexual Offences Act 1956
The Sexual offences Act 1956 contains no statutory definition of ‘consent’. Juries must be told that the word should be given its ordinary meaning, and that there is a difference between ‘consent’ and ‘submission’.
Lack of consent may be demonstrated by:
- The complainant’s assertion of force or threats;
- Evidence that by reason of drink, drugs, sleep, age or mental disability the complainant was unaware of what was occurring and/ or incapable of giving valid consent; or
- Evidence that the complainant was deceived as to the identity of the person with whom (s)he had intercourse.
R v Bree (2007) clarified further what consent means.In R v Bree  EWCA 256, the Court of Appeal explored the issue of capacity and consent, stating that, if, through drink, or for any other reason, a complainant had temporarily lost her capacity to choose whether to have sexual intercourse, she was not consenting, and subject to the defendant’s state of mind, if intercourse took place, that would be rape.
I write here as someone in a relationship, someone who understands that marriage is about learning to know how you interact with another person. You do learn to read signals, but the reading of these signals is something that can only be done if both parties are awake. That men still readily admit that they will have sex with a sleeping woman shows that having the law in place is not enough. We need education, starting at school, and a judicial system that takes sex crimes seriously. It seems the CPS are too busy watching consenting porn to pay any attention though.