Plans are being put forward that men must make sure they obtain consent from a partner before having sex with them. This is in response to a low prosecution rate for rape cases over the last couple of years.
Now, rape’s a terrible crime so I’m not going to get on a soapbox and try and defend anyone guilty of it. However, being accused of rape when you’ve done nothing other than shag someone who’s woken up the next morning and changed their mind must be almost as bad.
There are many things that bother me about this. First off, it’s the man’s responsibility to get permission. What happened to sex being an act between two people? Cases of men being raped have been reported, but there’s no push for women to have to obtain “permission”.
What are you meant to do? Get someone to sign something? If it’s a verbal “Yes, OK” then it becomes one person’s word against another in court – the situation is hardly improved. Even a written agreement can be co-erced. Look at the case at the bottom of the article. The girl readily admitted she couldn’t remember anything, so she could just as easily have signed something as led the guy on.
The changes want to ensure that the woman is in a fit enough state to give permission, which also makes sense. Aside from, again, where’s the proof of how drunk she was or wasn’t 3 months later at trial? Once more, it’s her word against his.
A quick question for all the married couples out there – how many times have you and your partner verbally said something along the lines of “Do you want to have sex? Yes?” before doing it? Technically, if you haven’t, by the proposed rules, that’s an awful lot of husbands who could be up on charges.
All in all, it’s a mess. It always will be a mess. Without having uncorruptible chaperones, there’s simply no way to avoid it.