Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Alcohol, consent and perceived opinion.

A comment by Eoin the other day has stuck with me, as these things are wont to do. He said "My comment was more inspired by a night out last weekend with a few Polish people, they kept going on about how fat all Irish girls are and how they have only themselves to blame if something happens to them when they dress like hookers.
It really pissed me off"
Then I remembered something a taxi driver told me a few days ago, about a gang of girls in his cab and the way they spoke about 'shagging and banging and sucking cock, if ye'll pardon me french luv.' He, a father of three and no slouch or prude, had been shocked. He said these girls could not have been any older than twenty and yet they spoke like 'hoors'. He rounded it off with 'Sure it's no wonder things happen to them.' ( we had been listening to a news story about the comedian Russell Brand and his alleged involvement in a rape at his flat)
No wonder? Deserve? Hoors and prostitutes? Interesting. So who is to blame for this line of thinking? Is it men? Is it women? Society?
While I would let no man talk shit about women in front of me, I have to wonder if women are doing themselves a great disservice these days. What the hell is going on?
I did a quick poll of my male friends.
What do you lot think about the women you meet on a night out? I asked.
Drunk, was the resounding answer, drunk and easy.
Are we? Is that the perceived opinion of women? And these guys are not bastards, they're just normal guys with normal appetites.
Drunk and easy. Sweet fuck. And I don't swear a lot.
It is depressing. But reading the papers and watching tv is proving them right. Shit, going into any city centre bar on a Saturday night is proving them right.
Deserve. I don't like the sound of that word at all. It has too many connotations for me. But what is going on? Are women losing the battle for respect and sympathy due to our own actions? Are we shooting ourselves in the foot?
Many years ago a friend of mine slept with a man, or at least she thinks she did. She woke up in bed with him, naked and covered in love bites. But to this day she has always wondered about that night. She used no contraception, claims she can't remember leaving the nightclub, sure as shit can't remember going to the guy's place and does not remember either taking her clothes off or agreeing to sex.
Her sister was and is furious and to this day says very angrily and vocally that it was rape. To me, and I know not everyone agrees with me on this but hey, my blog, what that man did to her was not rape, although he ought to have been slapped for the hickeys.
I don't think it was rape for a number of reasons. And not because she was too drunk to stand either. But because she probably did say yes, she had firted with him all night, she probably fondled him the whole way back to his house in the back of the taxi, that she herself climbed into with a dismissive and drunken wave of her hand when some of her friends tried to suggest she was blotto- I know I was there.
Deserve, I am troubled by that word.
In the Sun today is film-maker Roger Graef’s, a man whose groundbreaking documentary about the treatment of rape victims by police shocked the country when it was screened in 1982.
Eleven million viewers watched A Complaint Of Rape and were horrified to see officers aggressively interviewing a woman who reported she had been gang-raped.

The landmark programme revealed for the first time how heavily the legal system was weighted against the victim. As a result, police were re-trained in how to handle rape cases.
Graef is backing the tabloid's Sunwomen Stop Rape campaign and while he talks a lot of sense, one sentence makes me wonder.
"We must also recognise the victim’s right to refuse consent whether drunk or sober.
If they are too drunk to give consent consciously and clearly, then intercourse is rape. Pure and simple."
Is it? I mean is it pure and simple? By that reasoning the man my friend slept with did rape her, pure and simple, despite the fact she came on to him and she was sexually aggressive with him, pure and simple right? She doesn't remember giving consent, so that's that then, pure and simple. But let's stall the ball for a second, let's shine the spotlight on the man in question, let's have a quick glance at our vicious predator.
He was blind drunk, having been at a stag all day, he was weaving as he left the night club and had dropped his house keys numerous times. He and she were acting like two teenagers, snogging on the street, her hand up the back of his shirt, his not so firmly planted on her arse, she waved away any concerns we-her friends- had for her safety and got cross when we tried to make her come home with us. Pure and simple? Is it? Did he 'deserve' to be arrested the next day and charged with being a rapist? Pure and simple right?
Is it only rape then if the girl is too drunk and the man sober? Or is it still rape if they are both drunk horny irresponsible idiots? Where is the pure and simple line drawn. Is consent always verbal or can actions be considered consent?
Drunk and easy.
It is no secret that the majority of my friends are male. I find the chaps good company and have a 'what you see is what you get' attitude that I like. I've often been out on nights out as the only female in their company and I've heard the way they talk about women, and although I've never heard them call a woman a 'hooker' in reference to the way she dresses, I know they can spot an'easy' girl a mile off, and nine times out of then she will be drunk and wearing very little.
But on the other hand, I"ve seen the way women act around them-especially one of the Italians, a very good looking wolfy chap, and I gotta tell ya, it ain't pretty. They practically get on his lap. What's he to do? Send them home with an admonishment? Is he a bastard for taking advantage of their drunken selves and lowered inhibitions? Or does his responsibility for their welfare stop the moment they sit on his lap and stick their tongue in his ear?
In this day and age with everyone jumping up and down and screaming about their rights and demanding to be treated equally a lot of common sense has gone straight out the window. Fed on a diet of girl power and booze, women are taking risks they didn't take before. Drinking until they pass out, acting with sexual aggression, celebrity pole notching, kiss and tells, dressing like porn stars and taking more and more risks.
It is an unpopular thing for a woman to say-I know I always get slated by my female friends whenever I say it- and the sister of my friend gets particularly angry about it, but while yes, every woman has the right to be safe and not assualted or raped, those rights must go hand in hand with good sense.
If you are a young woman, staggering down a dark street, blind drunk, with hardly any clothes on, in the middle of the night, it does not mean you 'deserve' (I am really starting to hate that word) to get raped, far from it. But if you do get raped following the above scenario, you do need to ask yourself, did I practice good judgment? I don't deserve this, but was there anything I could have done to minimise the danger I put myself in.
At the end of the day rapists doesn't give a fiddler's fuck about rights, girl power, deserve, Sun campaigns, bloggers or consent. What the rapist is looking for is vulnerability. And that is something where we women can hold the upper hand.

50 Comments:

Anonymous simon said...

very interesing piece

11:44 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Cheers and welcome.

12:16 p.m.  
Anonymous The Swearing Lady said...

Applauses, applauses.

I get into this argument/discussion myself quite a lot, and I agree with you 100%. Nothing else I can say, really, except well done. That was well written, compassionate and level-headed.

12:17 p.m.  
Blogger SheBah said...

On my weekend trip to Dublin a fortnight ago (after a 6 year absence), I couldn’t help noticing that the girls were still “so pretty” but also…. so fat and so drunk! We went to a pub on the Friday night which had live music and everybody was singing along and dancing – the crack was good, but there was a group of women, from 20’s to 40’s, doing some drunken dancing. Most of them were fake blonde, very pretty faces, rolls of fat on display over small skirts or trousers, plus acres of cleavage – I concluded, perhaps incorrectly, that Dublin girls are going for a very overtly tarty fashion look at present. Subtly sexy it wasn’t! However, I do defend a woman's right to dress anyway she likes. I feel it is behaviour that needs to be modified. Their behaviour towards the men in their group, and stray passing males on their way to the loo, was loud, suggestive and quite aggressively predatory. They were having a lot of fun, and I admit I laughed a lot at their antics, and sang-a-long with them. But they did appear to be “up for anything”, so it is not surprising that some of the men may have got the message that they were available and easy. I do agree with you that getting into a car and leaving with a man in these circumstances is tantamount to a “yes” message to take things further.

However, your later comment worried me.

"If you are a young woman, staggering down a dark street, blind drunk, with hardly any clothes on, in the middle of the night, …………But if you do get raped following the above scenario, you do need to ask yourself, did I practice good judgment”

It is obviously not good judgment for any girl to do this, but most of us at some time or other have done it after a party, with a bit too much to drink. Any man who takes this situation as an invitation to rape, is a criminal. A woman alone, drunk, sober, however dressed, is not prey – and the uncontrolled pervert on the prowl who assaults or abuses this kind of vulnerability should be castrated and locked up, with no mercy

12:29 p.m.  
Blogger SheBah said...

Sorry for such a long post, I'll get off my soapbox now!

12:30 p.m.  
Blogger KnackeredKaz said...

"If you are a young woman, staggering down a dark street, blind drunk, with hardly any clothes on, in the middle of the night, it does not mean you 'deserve'(I am really starting to hate that word) to get raped, far from it. But if you do get raped following the above scenario, you do need to ask yourself, did I practice good judgment? I don't deserve this, but was there anything I could have done to minimise the danger I put myself in."

In that scenario - she was walking down the street. Not a mind reader or clairvoyant who knew there was a rapist lurking in the bushes. She was walking down the street. Yes, in reality Dublin's streets aren't safe after dark, but I still have the right to walk down them. If I took your logic, I'd never go outside after sunset again.

It makes not one whit of difference what she was wearing or what she had to drink, she was walking down the street, an attacker jumped out and raped her. He is guilty, she is the innocent party and not for one second should she be made to feel any blame or guilt for what happened.

Defences like that are brought up all the time in court cases 'oh she was drunk' 'oh she was wearing a short skirt and a thong' It. Makes. No. Difference. Her dress or what she has drunk is NO defence for rape

I thought you had some valid points up until the end, particularly about how women are presenting themselves in general, which has deteroirated. But bringing into question a woman's dress if she happens to be raped simply while walking down the street is just wrong. Wrong, insensitive and downright insulting.

People roll their eyes all the time and like that taxi driver say 'no wonder' if a scantily clad woman is raped, yet seem never to cotton on to the fact that some man stuck his penis into her vagina without her permission. That is the bottom line. Not what she was wearing (it's only clothes for God's sake) but that he forced her.

Imagine if, God forbid, that anything ever happens to your sister or mother or even yourself FMC and the next morning I show up at your door and ask you what you were wearing?

I'd certainly deserve the slap in the face you would undoubtedly give me.

12:50 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's okay, stay on it, and you're absolutely correct, we have all done it. More than once in fact.
Yes we should have the right to go where we please and dress how we please without fear of attack. But having the right to do something does not absolve us from the reality that we might be putting ourselves in real danger by exercising that right.
Something has changed in Dublinsince I was in my early twenties . The level of drunkenness for one thing, the sexual aggressives for another. What you describe is almost verbatim what I witnessed the other night. But with all the fun and high jinks comes the danger, right on its coat tails.
I swear, comatose, that's how I would describe one girl-a pretty blonde- I saw on Wexford Street this weekend. She just lying outside Spar with her two friends who were trying to drag her off the ground. Her head was lolling uncontrollable and her eyes were glazed over. She was so out of it, and I promise you Shebah, I was never like that a day in my life. I love drinking, I love going out and meeting up and having a hoot, but this was something else, this was a girl who had drank herself into oblivion. And that's just where people like rapists like to hang around.
The sad part is this is not an uncommon sight any longer.
Rapist are scum sucking monsters and I am in no way trying to excuse them or their nefarious actions, but we, all of us, must take long hard look at what's going on and identify the problem or at least part of it. And part of it is young people going out on the weekend to get so drunk they can barely stand, let alone make a good decision.
Swearing Lady, good morning/afternoon and thank you.

12:57 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I know what you're saying Kaz, but I thought long and hard about what I wrote, and the example I used, while a bit of a cliche is something I have noticed more and more in Dublin and if it sounds like I'm making excuses for the rapist, I can assure you I am not.
An attack can happen to anyone at any time, me running in the park, you in a taxi, sitting in your own home, anywhere. But there are certain situations where a woman, or a indeed a man, leave themsselves extremely vulnerable. And being very drunk and scantily clad and alone is one of them, no matter how unappealing it is for me to say it, or for that matter, how unappealing it us for you to read it. It shouldn't make a whit of difference and yet it does.
Yes, bringing up clothing is insulting, but it is also a reality, as the Polish gentlemen who were with Eoin so easily and glibly established. They thought Irish women dressed like hookers and rightly it pissed Eoin off that they said it, but they wouldn't be the only ones to make this comment. People are judged on how they act and how they dress.That's a dismaying fact of life, but it is a fact. And when you pour vast quantities of alcohol into the mix you have a very volatile and explosive combination.
And god forbid if anything happened to me or my family, but if Etheline wandered along a street at night too drunk to even remember her own name wearing a slip and some stacked heels and not much else I'd slap her myself.
My mother I don't even want to think about, but I reckon she'd be safe.

1:12 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a terrible truth to face but alot of rapists will stalk their prey over a period of time and wait till they are vunerable enough to be stunned & taken advantage of. This time comes unfortunately when their prey is as you say walking home alone after a good few drinks after a good night out. This is when it will & does happen. To be walking home alone drunk will normally mean that you have been out for a while, too long in fact. Can't carry on drinking and don't want your friends to cut their night short or persuade you to stay, so you leave. Early & alone, try to get a cab but know it's easier to keep walking, stay warm, sober up a bit. Not too aware of who's behind you, beside you, infront of you & you don't really care, All, you want to do is get home. This is where the danger is. The danger is being spotted leaving early, alone and a bit worse for wear. Sitting duck for the sick fuck that's keeping an eye on you.

2:23 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

The Cat is CORRECT! I see this kind of behavior in the states as well, and it makes me a little sad. I think a lot of young women are seeking attention for what they perceive as 'sexiness' but are really seeking some warped sense of self-esteem, that is based on being attractive to men. And hey, we all want to be attractive, but it's much more alluring to be intelligent, dressed appropriately for your figure, and maybe even a little mysterious, instead of just putting the goods in the window.

But what do I know, I dress like a 17 year old boy from the 80's.

And yes, a rapist can catch up with you anywhere, even at work! And it's sad that we have to be on guard everywhere we go, but there it is.

I hope if I ever have a daughter she'll listen to me...

2:44 p.m.  
Blogger beezer said...

Interesting post FMC. In my opinion:
1. Women should be able to wear what they want without fear of retribution. However in reality, we share a world with perverted monstors so keeping ourselves safe is something we should all aspire to.
2. If a women is so blind drunk that she can't remember whether she consented to sex, then I really can't see how a man can be charged. This however does not apply if she is covered in bruises, cuts etc. Similarly, if the rapist has told someone about it, or there were witnesses to the event, the situation should be investigated.

As for the fat tarty pissed Irish lassies (!), the tartiness aspect I am not really familiar with. It has often occurred to me that Irish women are quite conservatively dressed - there may be some young ones out there who go a little too far but there always has been! I don't know, maybe it is the places I frequent. I will agree though that there is a growing alcohol problem, the full blown affects I think will be felt sooner rather than later. The fatness issue is another thing but my feeling on it is that maybe us Irish girls are far less concious of body image than our eastern sisters. I have worked with a few eastern girls and they were very body concious, some would definitely have been classed as having eating disorders. Obviously it would be better for every to be the perfect weight but I think it would be equally tragic if we turned into society such as now seen in California where women aer aspiring to be size 0!

3:58 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

abstinence from everything -- alcohol, sex and eating cake -- would solve the whole kit & caboodle.

myself, i'm abstaining from work.

4:05 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evening ladies.
I might not be quite so fraught if today wasn't the day when all the forth years get their exam results and go into town to celebrate. Ergo the little Goth Kid is off into town with a gang of her friends to have a good time. I've warned her not to drink and to be careful, her mom's warned her not to drink and to be careful, stay with her friends, keep her mobile on, don't talk to strangers...
She's promised she won't drink and she will be careful, but teenagers...well they're teenagers aren't they? Every year you hear horror stories about what they get up to. I'm breaking into a sweat even thinking about it.

4:27 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

and they learn, FMC.

4:48 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh for the love of...Fourth year students go forth. Sheesh.

4:51 p.m.  
Anonymous eoin said...

Hi FMC,
I take a hard-line view on this topic. I think that rape is a crime with no mitigating circumstances. It doesn't matter whether she was staggering down the road at four in the morning wearing a string bikini and waving a giant placard that says RAPE ME or if she was sitting at home in a cardie with all the doors bolted. The crime is the same in both cases and all victims of rape should be equal in the eyes of the law. Zero Tolerance.

The fact is that young girls are always going to dress slutty and drink too much no matter what their elders say and everybody thinks that it was somehow different in their day. With all due respect I think statements like “Fed on a diet of girl power and booze, women are taking risks they didn't take before” muddy the waters and make a victim of rape less likely to press charges. If we really want to contribute to a climate which reduces the likelihood of rape then we should make it a clear-cut issue.

The British government ran a poster campaign earlier this year which featured an attractive girl in her knickers with a stop sign superimposed on her crotch, the tag line was “Have sex with someone who hasn’t said yes to it and the next place you enter could be prison”. This attracted a huge amount of flak because it was accused of objectifying women as sex objects and stigmatising all men as potential rapists, see here for details http://rhetoricallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2006/03/from-home-office-rape-is-wrong-because.html but I think it was a brilliant campaign because it was simple and direct, which is the way men understand the world. Regardless of what she’s dressed like or how she acts, if you don’t get a yes, then it could be rape.

However your point about the problems with Graef’s statement "We must also recognise the victim’s right to refuse consent whether drunk or sober. If they are too drunk to give consent consciously and clearly, then intercourse is rape. Pure and simple." is a valid one though. There was a case in England earlier this year where a student was cleared of rape because it was established that his accuser couldn’t remember whether or not she gave consent. I don’t know what to think about this to be honest. If it was my sister and she swore it was rape then I’d definitely want the guy to go to prison, but if one of my mates was accused said it was consensual and there was no evidence of a struggle I’d want him to have a fair shot at getting justice.

Incidentally it wasn't just Polish men I was out with in fact most of them were women. It was only one of them who said "they have only them selves to blame" but no one disagreed with her (including me, she was fit).

5:24 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Loads of great points to consider here.

It might be worth remembering that most rape or sexual abuse is carried out by somebody you know rather than a stranger from the bar. Having said that though, you're right, the cases of date rape seem to be on the rise.

I think girls do dress more "tarty" these days. I don't like it because I think it's just bad taste but I do defend their right to wear whatever they want and get as drunk as they want. After all men can.

Is it wise? No, of course not, but when you're in your teens and early twenties you think you're invincible - that's just a side effect of being young. You think you can handle any situation.

The was it/wasn't it rape argument of your friend and her sister is a tough one. She is clearly responsible for putting herself in that position. I don't think most young women are aware of how dangerous that is. It seems to me though, that if a woman has actually passed out, for a man to stick his dick in her is wrong. In that situation, by virtue of the fact that he is still awake and alert enough to have a stiffy and some idea of what to do with it, then responsibility is his. At that point he can choose to fuck a sleeping woman or not. That riht there ought to be the line, in my opinion. The point where alarm bells and sirens go off inhis head and unconscious STOP signs leap up everywhere.

I understand he might be screaming inside at that but society should put into him such taboo and anathema for that idea that he just can't - the barrier should be too high for him despite his drunkenness and his raging hard - on to leap. He can wank over her if he has too or kiss her because he already knows she said yes to that, but he cannot have sex with a passed-out woman.

It all comes down to the question, at what point in the proceedings is a line crossed. The man, just by virtue of his being awake, is the aggressor in the instance of your friend and therefore holds the most control of the situation. The moment he enters a passed-out woman, using whatever, fingers, dick, cucumber (?) he has crossed a line.

Is he entirely responsible? Of course not - she should think very carefully about crying rape over that one because the damage done to him might be way, way more than he harmed her, justice would not be served, in my view. There should perhaps be mitigating degrees of rape, as with murder because that is obviously not the same crime as dragging someone into the bushes at knife-point.

Society should be hammering it into young men that there is a line that should not be crossed. I like the sound of that ad campaign eoin mentioned. No point in pussy-footing (if you'll pardon the pun) around it. The rules need to be laid (ther's no way to talk about this without punning, is there?)

In short, women should take responsibility for themselves but so should men. The "well she dressed that way and we were both so drunk and I couldn't help myself" argument of some men is lame and lets them off the hook too much. Where is their responsibility? Control yourself, Sonny Jim - we do live in a civilization after all. Don't say you can't help yourself and don't go helping yourself to passed out women. Even if she wanted sex at one point - being passed out means she probably doesn't want some greasy oaf pounding away at her without her knowing it.

I think if it were made clear tht you cannot fuck a passed-out woman, no matter whether she wanted it when she was awake, things would be easier. It wouldn't clear everything up but

If she is awake and participating then it is not rape even if she can't remember anything about it. That's her fault and she needs to accept that, cringe and get on with her life. There is nothing that can be proven beyond he said/she said but there is a lesson for her not to be so stupid again. If nothing can be proven it's a waste of everybody's time and we women in our new liberated era of tiny skirts and tops have to take with that some responsibility to keep ourselves safe.

Ditsy young girls who think they're invincible should be equally well drilled that they're not, as the boys should be drilled that having sex with a sleeper is bad.

7:10 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evening Sam, Eoin.
For the record, let me just make it crystal clear that I don't apologise for any form of rape, nor do I accept any excuse. I don't buy 'she was dressed like a tart, she was giving me the eye, she was a stripper, she was a hooker, the voices told me, she was drunk, she was passed out, she was up for it, she was there and I wanted her.'
Let's just be clear about that for a second.
But what I am trying to say, even if I seem to be making a complete hash of it, is that rapists don't think like us. They are looking for the weakest of the pack, the girl alone, the drunk girl, the girl who thinks she will be alright if she walks home, the girl who has let her defences down,the girl who he can pin the blame on if it all goes pear shaped. A rapist is a very real predator, and what I am witnessing more and more often are girls, especially younger girls, who are allowing themselves to become a very real target for those who would do them harm and it really worries me.
"With all due respect I think statements like “Fed on a diet of girl power and booze, women are taking risks they didn't take before” muddy the waters and make a victim of rape less likely to press charges. If we really want to contribute to a climate which reduces the likelihood of rape then we should make it a clear-cut issue.
But rape isn't a clear cut issue. It should be, but it isn't. Case in point my friend. Maybe she was passed out, maybe she wasn't, maybe she said yes, maybe she didn't, truth is she doesn't know. People Eoin, don't always think like you or I might. You can be damn sure that for every person who gets riled up about a rape and says 'hey, she can do what she wants.' (like you) There will be someone else that says (like me), 'well she can do what she wants, but she'd better be real careful', and yet someone else who will say ' sure no wonder, she deserved it, she acted like a fool'(like my taxi driver).
At the end of the day common sense must rule over the 'right' to do something, despite how we might feel about it intellectually.
Beezer, size 0? All bone and never eating a carb? I'd sooner die. I am eating Wexford Farmhouse cheese on Carrs Water biscuits right this second and drinking a very fine blanc from Chile, the cheese is so strong it's making my eyes water.

8:54 p.m.  
Blogger Auds said...

Camille Paglia summed up some of my thoughts on this with this quote (and the rest of sex art and amercian culture) -

"In dramatizing the pervasiveness of rape, radical feminists have told young women that before they have sex with a man, they must give consent as explicit as a legal contract's. In this way, young women have been convinced that they have been the victims of rape"

I certainly agree with you lots - perhaps utopia will allow for boob tubes that don't cover drunk quivering boobs as sensible attire for outside the Turk's Head at 3am on a Saturday, but til then, and in the meantime while we're all imperfect, a little bit of your Mammy's advice can go a long way.

11:26 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Good to see you here Auds, and amen to that.
Good night folks, it has been interesting and that is almost as good as Jaffa cakes.

11:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been reading your blog for ages. Sort of thought about commenting before; but never felt compelled to, before now. Am 100% with FMC on this one: yes, rape is awful. It is horrible, traumatising, brutalising, life-altering, sick, and mostly about power.

BUT: if both parties are blotto, and act stupidly and do stupid things that they regret/can't really recall, how, HOW is the male more culpable? I just don't get that. I do not get the point of view that if the male concerned was 'capable' then he is somehow more culpable than the female. Yes, he may have been the more 'active' one in 'sticking it in' (even if barely able to do so); but surely the alleged culability has to be balanced by the (barely able to) ability to accede to it - or indeed the lead-up to it ... and that maybe one or other drunken idiots passed out before the other one.

I'm not NOT advocating force/rape/picking up someone that is totally out of it, when the other party is in full possesion of their senses; but surely the point that women are not always purely victims has to be realised: sometimes two stupidly drunk people do stupidly drunk devoid of thought things - and if they both enjoy it, hey. And if they don't, well ain't that a lesson to both parties. In terms of what FMC described: the guy clearly wasn't a rapist; he wasn't a fucked up women hating power hungry pervert: he met someone as drunk and stupid as himself. How is he can possibly be blamed for this - and I'm a woman writing this - is beyond me.

Get over yourseves girls: rape is truly awful. But you and he being out of it, and mutual flirting/chatting up/feeling up does not a rape make. A mistake it makes. Even if the dope in question was barely able to get a rise out of the situation, so to speak. Take responsibility for your actions people; male and female.

2:52 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and as I've finally commented, I should say: love your views on shoes, lovely food and drinks, cats, paramour(s), and silly dogs. Not to mention insomnia. Been a night owl since I was a wee one: am I ever going to wake up feeling rested and sane? I think not.

3:00 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well now, welcome. Do give yourself a name though, whatever takes your fancy, easier to respond and doff caps to. I alreadly have a lovely insomniac who is nameless.

9:14 a.m.  
Blogger Angie said...

No matter what we wear, or drink, or whatever, we dont' deserve to be raped. If we say no, then no.

Now given that, we are responsible for our own safety yes. So at all times, we should be aware of our surroundings. Yes it is not fair that we should be more aware than men, but that is just life.

When it comes to just the female being drunk, I do believe the man should back off. He is taking advantage of a situation that she may, in her right mind, say no to. And for HIS own safety, he should back away from. If both are drunk, I don't think one can claim rape. Neither of them are thinking straight.

3:36 p.m.  
Blogger Greg Finnegan said...

This is a wonderful, thoughtful piece which is even more valuable than it appears. In the USA, weather proceeds from west to east. The weather we get in Chicago will wind up in New York two days later. Similarly, I think that we in the U.S. are perhaps 10 to 15 years further down the road fatmammycat describes than Ireland is. Perhaps that is motivation to change things, unless having cities in the future like Camden NJ, south central Los Angeles, the south side of Chicago and the Bronx is OK for you. As Dean Wormer said, fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life. And, I tend to agree that the absence of clear consent means "No!".

4:07 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evening Angie and absolutely. Greg welcome, and thank you for your comment.

4:43 p.m.  
Anonymous eoin said...

FMC,

“But rape isn't a clear cut issue. It should be, but it isn't. Case in point my friend. Maybe she was passed out, maybe she wasn't, maybe she said yes, maybe she didn't, truth is she doesn't know“

Again I respectfully disagree; rape is a clear-cut issue 100 per cent of the time… because the rapist always knows what he did. Sex without consent is rape and that includes having sex with an unconscious woman, as I’m sure you’d agree. Unfortunately in cases like that of your friend the difficulty is that there’s no way of telling she gave consent or not as she literally can’t remember the events of the night. Unless she gets a flashback and decides to prosecute, or yer man hands himself in to the police I guess you’d have to say that in the eyes of the law a rape didn’t occur. From the sounds of it, she wasn’t raped and her hysterical sister is irresponsibly slandering an innocent man. However the only issues pertinent to the case are her memories of the night and his admission or otherwise of guilt, her previous behaviour is completely irrelevant to the FACT of whether or not she was raped, that’s what I mean by muddying the waters.

But let’s leave this philosophical stuff to the lawyers and judges shall we. What I really have a problem with is this:
“If you are a young woman, staggering down a dark street, blind drunk, with hardly any clothes on, in the middle of the night, it does not mean you 'deserve'(I am really starting to hate that word) to get raped, far from it. But if you do get raped following the above scenario, you do need to ask yourself, did I practice good judgment? I don't deserve this, but was there anything I could have done to minimise the danger I put myself in.

Well firstly only a tiny proportion of rapes occur on the mythical dark street:
“In the U.S., in 1997, 68.3% of sexual assaults perpetrated by someone who knew the victim. (Bureau of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey, 1997). 78% of women raped or physically assaulted since they turned 18 were assaulted by a current or former husband, live-in partner or date. 17% were victimized by an acquaintance, 9% by a relative other than a husband and only 14% were assaulted by a stranger. (National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998).”

I’m not saying that what you’re advocating isn’t common sense but you’re putting a disproportionate emphasis on it and it occludes the fact that the vast majority of rape victims will always in a vulnerable position no matter what action they take they do because they know their assailant. If you want to prevent rape we need to go after the rapists.

Secondly where do you stop? Traditional societies put great restrictions of women’s movement under the guise of protecting them, but the real motive is control. One woman’s “common sense” is another woman’s Purdah. You wouldn’t tell people in wheelchairs to stay indoors or travel with an ablebodied person at all times on the basis that they were more likely to be mugged so why recommend the equivalent for women?

4:45 p.m.  
Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic said...

A woman may walk around nude and tell people how she loves to have sex. This does not mean she is asking for it nor does it imply that someone may force themselves on her.

Men who say that she is looking for it are just looking for excuses, women who accept that excuse are naive, even stupid.

5:39 p.m.  
Anonymous ainelivia said...

I've said this before, my how things have changed. Seems like women nowadays, not only want to be equal with men, (as if we never were) they imagine that means behaving like men, and they are encouraged in this by the culture of "bad", Christina Aguilera and her peers. Trouble is that they don't seem to recognise that those that do this on music videos are paid zillions for their performance, and applauded everywhere they go. Wonder if there was much applause the other night when the Mammies and the Daddies turned up at the Garda station!!!??

8:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Johnny5 said...

An excellent waste of a mornings work that was, especially with this bloody hangover. Very interesting stuff.

I think I'd have to side with FMC on this one. There's absolutely no excuse for raping someone but there are measures you can take to reduce the risk of actually getting raped. I do understand Eoin's point of view completely though.

12:47 a.m.  
Blogger Gerbera Daisy said...

BRAVO!! I couldn't agree with you more. No woman "deserves" to get raped. When a man has unconsented sex with a woman, that is a violation.

2:19 p.m.  
Anonymous Pinkie said...

Bravo.

It is such an unsavoury thing for ANYONE to admit to, but you are so damn right it makes me cringe.

Sad to say, I agree with every point you made including the dress code of our potential victims - because that is what we/they all are. When I go out on the town, I dress sensibly, but nicely. I'll wear heels and a skirt and a vest like the next girl - but at the end of the night and I'm walking down one dark alley and the next girl is wearing higher heels, shorter skirt and skimpy vest, and she is staggering drunkenly down the next dark alley... who is going to be viewed as the more 'potential' victim?

Certainly not me but my good 'next girl' walking down the adjacent dark alley.

It's common sense isnt it?
No one 'deserves' to be raped and it has not been said here that anyone does, but girls on a night out could do themselves a favour by not acting like slappers. And I mean that with as much sincerity and affection possible.

7:19 p.m.  
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1:14 a.m.  
Blogger PJ said...

If a person is drugged up to the eyeballs and so don't know what they are doing or/and are not in full control of their capacities, and they "agree" to have sex with someone, then I'm sure nobody would argue that it's rape as the person is so drugged up that they are incapable of giving valid consent.

Alcohol is a type of drug, albeit a legal one - thus if a person is drugged up to the eyeballs ON ALCOHOL (eg. totally drunk), thus diminishing / severely lowering/affecting their mental capacities, and they "agree" to have sex with someone then clearly the consent is equally as invalid as it would be if the person was drugged up to the eyeballs on any other kind of drug.

And being unable to remember what happened the previous night is a pretty clear indication that you were totally drunk.

There are literally LOADS of sexy girls in any good bar/nightclub. So to save future trouble, just don't fuck (or, more accurately, don't RAPE) the drunk ones.

7:53 p.m.  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

[quote]A woman may walk around nude and tell people how she loves to have sex. This does not mean she is asking for it nor does it imply that someone may force themselves on her.[/quote]

I disagree with this.
If a man were to walk around naked and claim that he loves to have sex then he would be arrested for indecent exposure and would possibly face criminal charges and would be ostracised for being a pervert. I'm assuming the same would happen if a woman did this!?

12:02 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Sure a man would be arrested, but raped? Unlikely.

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