Here’s a question for you. Is it possible, do you think, to find a newspaper columnist who’s opinions are so far ‘out there’ that they make even the apocalyptic world of Mad Mel Phillips look like an oasis of sanity in and insane world?
(And before any starts, let’s stick to the UK and leave Americans like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin out of this)
Well, it seems the answer may well be yes – step forward Julie Bindel.
How ‘rape’ has been raped
The real message behind today’s news that use of date rape drugs is rare is just the latest way to blame women for being raped.
So, the logic here seems to be that an ACPO sponsored study into a very specific form of rape, that which relies on the use of two drugs, Rohypnol and GHB, to incapacitate the victim shows little evidence of that these drugs are in widespread use, implies that women are to ‘blame’ for being raped.
This is almost too stupid to merit comment.
That the result of this study are what they are should be no great surprise to anyone.
What the general data on rape shows, and has consistantly shown since rape was first formally studied, is that, in the vast majority of cases, rape is an opportunistic crime.
Genuinely predatory rapists, i.e. men who go out specifically with the intent of seeking a victim and, especially, ones who go out specifically equipped to carry out a rape, are relatively rare, and I think most people would consider that a man who takes a drug such as Rohypnol or GHB with them on a date/night out is demonstrating a degree of intent, not least as Rohypnol can only be obtained, legally, on a private prescription, and its production was discontinued in 1986.
That doesn’t rule out its opportunistic use as, like other benzodiazapines, it can be used recreationally, but then one still has to go to some effort to obtain the drug, making its widespread use in opportunstic raoes rather unlikely.
Once upon a time, there was a crime called rape. In recent years, the laws on rape have been repealed – not on statute, but by public opinion. Now there is something called “real rape”. It is a hideous crime, but different to what used to be “rape”.
This is bullshit. Actually it’s rather more than bullshit, it’s a complete inversion of history.
Both the public, and legal, perception of the nature of rape has increased, not decreased, over time. At one time, for example, rape within marriage was not only not legally recognised but actually considered impossible; it being consider the wife’s ‘duty’ to put out for husband any time he felt the urge, whether she wanted to or not.
Similarly, perceptions of what is generally termed ‘date rape’ have changed considerably over the years. Before the 1980s the term ‘date rape’ would not even have been used by the media, let alone the general public. The over-persistant date who wouldn’t take no for an answer was, more often than not, treated as something of a ‘occupational hazard’ for the single woman to the extent that such incidents were rarely, if ever, reported.
The image of the predatory, masked rapist remains a powerful one in modern society, not least because it is one of the few ‘clear’ images associated with what is otherwise a highly complex issue, but it by no means either as dominant or as influential an image of rape, today, as it was in the past.
Research published today, in which no link to the date-rape drug Rohypnol was found in 120 cases (but in which many of the women had been drinking) just goes to show that the idea that men are ever responsible for rendering women unconscious is ludicrous. Indeed, it is women who are getting themselves drunk, and therefore are wholly responsible for getting themselves raped (but not as in “real rape”, so it does not count).
The report says nothing of the sort, as might be expected given that its published by the Association of Chief Police Officers – which also, one suspects, might explain why Bindel provides a link only to a BBC report about the report and not to the report itself, although the other possible explanation for this; that she simply hadn’t bothered to read the actual report before developing a flux of the typing fingers, seems equally plausible.
Has she actually read the report proper – drug-facilitated-sexual-assault.pdf – she might well have noticed this passage, which entirely contradicts her comments:
In a report published by Amnesty International (October 2005) a telephone survey of one-thousand people was carried out. Their findings suggest that a significant proportion of the public are of the opinion that victims of rape could contribute to the commission of such offences by their mode of dress and behaviour. Moreover the voluntary consumption of excess alcohol could be a contributory factor. The Matisse research team unequivocally rejects such assumptions and supports the view that rape and other sexual assault cannot be condoned or its severity qualified by applying social or individual value judgements.
However, the research team does support the view that any voluntary consumption of alcoholic drink and/or a cocktail of substances might lead to the debilitation of an individual thus making them more susceptible to a sexual predator.
Never mind the facts, eh. Not when you’ve got a good old rant coming on.
“Real rape” can only be committed against women possessing at least three of the following traits – virginal, sober, of impeccable character, elderly, horrifically injured, unknown to the accused, drug-free, mothers of small children, or vicar’s daughters. The rapist is required to be mad, masked, have previous convictions for sexual and violent crimes, and keen to confess when caught. They also need to have recorded the entire attack, with the woman screaming, “No! Stop! I mean it! This is not an S&M game!” Just in case he changes his mind in court, and the jury believes that she likes sex that way.
In the bad old days, any old woman could cry rape, and sometimes even get away with it. First, women who had actually had sex with the accused, or other men in her life previously, would then claim that, this time, she was forced. This type of complainant was soon weeded out.
New legislation was brought in (as a trick) that gave these slags a false sense of security. It became, supposedly, almost impossible to introduce evidence of her previous sexual history. But then, if it got to court (and some actually did), the defence would slip it in through the back door, and – bingo! – the accused was acquitted, and she had been taught a lesson never to try that one on again.
You see, in Bindel’s warped little world, the only evidentiary requirement in a rape case can be satisfied by a quick medical examination of the defendent.
Judge: Would the prosecution call it’s first witness.
Prosecutor: Certainly, your Honour. The prosecution calls Dr Smith to the stand…
…Prosecutor: Would you state your name and occupation for the record.
Dr Smith: Certainly. My name is Dr Smith, and I am a Police Surgeon.
Prosecutor: Thank you Dr Smith. Can I ask, have you examined the defendant.
Dr Smith: Yes.
Prosector: And does the defendent possess a functional penis.
Dr Smith: Yes.
Judge: Right, that settles it then. Guilty as charged… Off with his head…
You see Bindel doesn’t live in the real world. The world she inhabits exists only through the looking glass and its one govened by the feminist Taliban in which all men are guilty and the Lord Chief Justice is the Queen of Hearts.
You think that’s a bit extreme? Try this…
Then came the women who would, as a type of leisure activity such as shopping on eBay, make false accusations of rape against poor innocent men. She was soon taught a lesson, as police began to arrest and often charge them with perverting the course of justice. Some women are now in prison for this offence, which makes it extremely unlikely that women will report rape at all now (thereby freeing up the police to catch real criminals).
So justice means nothing, innocent men should go to prison and women never, ever, make false accusations of rape – and even if they do there should be no consequences attatched to such behavoiur because you never know, he could be a rapist, just one who hasn’t actually committed a rape just yet, so its best we lock him up just to make sure.
Never mind that little things like making a false allegation, perverting the course of justice and perjury are criminal offences (ask Jeffrey Archer about that last one), which makes the kind of people who do those things real criminals, as real as any rapist.
The thing is here that the real problem with Planet Bindel – apart from the fact that it doesn’t exists outside her own head – is not just that she’s a mad as a stadium of Mad Hatter’s watching a display by the combined drums onf pipes of the Mad Hatter’s Marching Band, but that her views are both infantilising and extremely dangerous…
…not men, but to women.
If you are a woman and you do worry about the possibility that you might become a victim of rape – sadly, this is not an unreasonable thing to be concerned about by any means – that the very last person you should be listening to, and especially taking advice from, is Julie Bindel.
Yes, in an ideal world, women should be able to go out, wear whatever they like, get completely and utterly shit-faced and return home safe and sound and in the sure and and certainly knowledge that the only guys they’ve shagged that night is someone that they really, really, wanted to.
But then we don’t live in an ideal world do we, folks?
We live in a world where, yes, some men are predatory rapists.
And some men don’t know when to take no for an answer.
And some men think that a women who’s so pissed she doesn’t know what she’s doing is their ‘lucky day’.
And some men even get as shitfaced as women do and have no idea who it was they were screwing last or even any real ideal whether they actual wanted a shag in the first place – just like some women do.
Women are not responsible for being raped and they are certainly not to blame if it does happen to them, but in the real world, unlike on Planet Bindel, women do have a responsibilty to themselves to look out for their own safety and security and to manage the risks they take as they go about their lives, the same as everyone else.
Having the right to wear what you like and drink yourself insensible is like having the right to stick your fingers into a working bacon slicer. You’re perfectly free to do it, but would you really want to take the risk?
This is where swallowing the views of someone like Julie Bindel becomes completely infantilising by proposing that a woman’s right to indulge in certain type of behaviour is absolute to the point of abject stupidity rather than mitigated by a responsibilty to exercise just a little bit of common sense and an appreciation that the real world is both far from ideal and contains risks to which some attention should be paid.
And that is why such a view is also dangerous, because it pays no regard whatsoever to the question of risk, because, it not only suggest, quite rightly, that women are not responsible for or to be blamed for rape, but it also, wrongly, suggests that women have no responsibilty toward themselves for their own safety, for managing the risks they take and for denying potential rapists the opportunity they’re looking for.
And in that, Julie Bindel can quite rightly be considered the rapist’s friend.
3 thoughts on “The Rapist’s Friend”
I agree that the report itself doesn’t warrant Bindel’s response, but ‘debate’ around it as constructed by the media is extraordinarily skewed- for instance the BBC’s ‘Should women be more responsible?’ piece and the related Have your say forum which poses the question ‘Are women who binge drink putting themselves at risk?’
Couching responses to the report in these terms invites moralising about women and drinking (see Widdecombe’s comments in the first of the above links) and puts the onus on women to explain why they put themselves at risk. How about asking: if someone is incapacitated through their own or through someone else’s doing, is it ok to have sex with them?
As long as ‘debates’ around rape are framed in the current way women will continue to see themselves as potential rape victims and people like Bindel will continue to see all men as potential rapists. Empower women not to see themselves as potential victims (and let’s start by not victimising women for drinking) and perhaps there will be a more honest discussion about the difficulties around sexual consent where drink is involved.
I hadnt had sex or even kissed a man for three and a half years, Id had four drinks and I was known as a born again christian in my local pub. I was drug raped. Does that mean that I can say I was raped now???
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing (general public), this doesnt just happen to women who binge drink. This happens to anyone the pervert chooses, and sadly if you have a less than perfect reputation you have no chance of being believed.
Re. Bindel: wait, it gets better (or worse, depending): if you dig out one of her earlier Comment is Free articles on this topic and wade through the comments, you’ll find she suggests abolishing juries in rape trials, and getting a nice little earner ‘training’ the judges.
The sad thing about Bindel’s work is that she manages to alienate even those (men and women) who might be sympathetic to feminism. She and the trolls have a mutual death wish that hacks off the rest of us more rational humans.