The Attorney General recently announced ‘an affirmative consent model‘ that is the most gender-biased piece of populist knee-jerk bullshit legislation I have ever read. Countless innocent men will be gaoled. No woman will ever be prosecuted under this law.
From the onset, I believe men who rape should be strapped to a wooden bench, sodomized with a blunt wooden object, and have their genitals dissolved in acid. Men who are merely indifferent to consent because, for example, they’re married can skip straight to the acid.
How about men who find themselves in the very common scenario where he, shitfaced on alcohol and/or drugs, genuinely but mistakenly believes she, equally shitfaced, consented to sex?
The pissed-and-horny defence.
In 2015, a bloke by the name of Lazarus was tried and convicted of raping a girl he met in a nightclub. Pissed and horny, they went into the alley behind the club and kissed. She says he then raped her — he says she consented. He was sentenced to five years gaol. On appeal, he was acquitted. On higher appeal, he went back to gaol because the court held that the law on consent is now well-established.
To wit, an accused knows that a complainant does not consent if (a) the other person does not consent; or (b) if the accued is being reckless as to consent, or (c) if there are no reasonable grounds for the accused to believe they had consent.
While a definition at law of what consent is not is not a useful definition of consent, the point remains that drunkenly (ie recklessly) assuming consent doesn’t fly. The pissed-and-horny defence is no defence.
So why do we need new laws if the old laws work fine?
I’ll skip ahead here and say that we don’t.
It’s significant that the Legal Aid Commission also do NOT want the offence of ‘negligent sexual assault‘ to exist. Their workload is already monumental without this Grace Tame inspired rubbish.
Less objectively, Dr Rachael Burgin, Director of Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy (RASARA), says that while the onus will be on men to prove they took reasonable steps to gain consent, “That does not mean that they are not presumed innocent!”
Um, hang on.
These are not just serious indictable offences, they are ‘show-cause’ offences. Once charged by police, the accused remains in cutsody until he persuades a magistrate that he should get bail. After that, to remain free, he must prove that he took the reasonable steps.
Putting silly things like fundamental universal precepts of freedom and law aside for a sec, how the fuck is a guy going to prove his innocence?
The short answer from many female journalists / writers / op-ed pieces and the #MeToo commentariat generally has been “Who gives a shit!” — because “all men are rapists, and that’s all they are” (Marilyn French ‘The Women’s Room‘ 2007).
Maybe they’d give a shit if it was their dad, or brother, or son, or husband in the crosshairs of a negligent sexual assault allegation.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), extensive legal disclaimers aside, offers these pearls of advice to men on the tricksy topic of gaining “enthusiastic consent”:
Confirm there is reciprocal interest before initiating any physical touch;
Let your partner know that you can stop at any time;
Provide positive feedback when you’re comfortable with an activity; and
Ask permission before you change the type or degree of activity.
Which sounds like a whole of of spontaneous, Friday-night-on-the-lash kind of fun, doesn’t it? I think the ‘human over-population problem’ is going away after this, with or without the assistance of COVID.
Luckily, there’s an app. Just whip it (your phone) out before you, err… whip it out. Of course, this assumes humans copulate the way robots assemble car parts. If your phone could also deliver a sharp, sobering electric shock every time your dick gets hard, that would help too.
The girl who cried rape was probably raped, but at least some tiny fraction of them weren’t. Some don’t recall giving consent, because they were pissed-and-horny too. I just don’t see how that makes men rapists unless they can prove otherwise.