There is a scene in Roman Holiday in which Gregory Peck takes a very stoned Audrey Hepburn back to his apartment. She’s totally out of it and a princess and enjoying her first illicit taste of freedom. Gregory could make a move and she’d probably let him, because that’s how out of it she is. But you know what, he doesn’t make a move (although he does plonk her on the sofa), you know why Gregory Peck doesn’t make a move, well two reasons:
- He’s a total gentleman and wouldn’t do that sort of thing
- It would be rape
Point 1 I think we can all agree on and move on to point 2 there because that’s the important one. The fact our adorable princess is far too out of it to consent, means she hasn’t consented, which makes it would have been rape. I thought we had all agreed on that by now.
And yet, today/last night, Twitter was alight with idiots discussing Julian Assange’s alleged crimes with too many people suggesting that, if he did what he was accused of, it wouldn’t be rape/sexual assault, you know because she was asleep next to him. I suspect if we could be bothered to look into it, a substantial amount of the people who don’t feel Assange could be a rapist also don’t believe Ched Evans is a rapist (despite people who heard all the evidence thinking he is) because the victim was drunk and may or may not have agreed to sleep with his friend. See also, Mike Tyson’s victim “asking for it” because she was in his hotel room.
This, we call “victim blaming” and it’s a nasty nasty habit that this world has got into. Women are raped because someone rapes them. The blame lies squarely with the rapist; the person who should have acted differently is the rapist. I simply do not believe that any woman puts herself in a position where she could be raped, no woman would ask for it… Never, ever.
So, in case I wasn’t clear that rapists are to blame for rape, here are a few things that aren’t to blame for rape/sexual assault:
- Wearing a short skirt/low cut top/underwear as outerwear/high heels/hot pants
- Being drunk
- Being in someone’s hotel room
- Walking home alone
- Being high
- Travelling on public transport
- Being a princess high on tranquilisers and on the run from your handlers
- Being a prostitute
- Being married to/living with/dating a rapist
And here are things that are to blame for rape/sexual assault:
- A man who rapes/sexually assaults
- A woman who rapes/sexually assaults
If you are unsure if the person you are with is definitely consenting and is in a fit state to consent, then I would recommend not having sex with them. And if you’re still not clear, then a good rule of thumb is probably, what would Gregory Peck do?