Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Asking for it"

A story has been made public after remarks by former Carlton President John Elliot stating that during his time with the club, several women were paid off by the club who had made allegations of being sexually assaulted by Cartlon players. Elliot also said he had concerns that one of the women might not have been just after the money.

Disturbing enough? I thought so. But it gets worse. The following comments on a board I frequent staggered me:

"Dredging up the past is ridiculous "

"women throw them selves at footballers and say that they have been sexually abused to get their 15 minutes of fame and get a story on a current affair."

"It never fails to frustrate me when females think they can pull the wool over the eyes of everyone and cry rape etc, when is was consensual, and now they've decided they want some quick cash or a turn in the spotlight, but where do we draw the line at who to believe?"

"I'm not saying rape isn't wrong, but if a woman is asking for it, I have no sympathy"

What really got me - to the point where I felt almost physically ill - was that these comments were all on a board that is a forum for women; a female footy fans forum (If that isn't enough alliteration to choke on) I won't name the forum, but these are by-and-large intelligent, seemingly caring women, and most of the attitudes range from "it doesn't matter, it was years ago" to "she was asking for it"

To which I replied:

Let's get one thing clear right now. NO-ONE ASKS FOR RAPE. Rape is a criminal offence, a violation and should never be tolerated or apologised for with remarks like "well, she asked for it" Wearing a short skirt is "not asking for it". Deciding you don't want to go through with something at any stage is not "asking for it". The only determining factor as to whether something is rape is whether the person consented - and changing your mind before or during removes consent. What they are wearing, how they act or whether someone considers that person a tart do not enter into the equation.

The response?

"aren't we being a bit sterotypical by saying that men are wrong for raping women- which they are but what about women who rape men, isn't that the same thing."

Riiiight. Because referring to specific allegations against AFL footballers - who, correct me if I'm wrong, are men - in the masculine pronoun negates your comment saying that women are "asking for it"?

I'd make some sensible points about women being our own worst enemies sometimes, the "she's only saying it because he's famous" defence and why we still have a long way to go on our attitudes to rape victims, but I'm too bloody furious right now.

**EDIT** Tweaked a sentence in one paragraph so it actually made sense, and changed the spelling of forum from "Fourum" I have no idea what a "Fourum" is, unless it's an obscure alcohol measurement.


Jeremy said...

Unbelievable. It always surprises me how people - of both genders - can make excuses for rape. As if the conduct of the person who is raped has the slightest bearing on the offensiveness of the crime.


Jayne said...

They sound like a pack of dumb bogan bitches who need to be spayed at the nearest vet.
They are judging a person by the way they themselves would act - therefore they are a pack of attention seeking money grubbing bitches who'd do the exact same thing they are accusing a rape victim of doing.

Keri said...

Thing is, Jayne, on most issues they aren't. And they're by no means a bunch of bogans that we can dismiss as loonies or whatever.

These are normal, everyday women, who think that there is some way a woman can "ask for" rape.

And that's what worries me most of all.

Jeremy said...

It's particularly absurd since the whole point of the definition of rape is that it is WITHOUT CONSENT. How can you "ask for" something to which you don't consent? It doesn't make sense.

Jayne said...

Caught a brief listen to 774 this morning and someone asked why this attitude is becoming common - they *think* it may be because not many women usually come forward/it's hushed up/it's not, historically, something that's discussed so openly and basically coz the victims aren't hanging their heads in shame.
And you still get women who think rape inside a marriage/relationship is perfectly legal.