To round off a week of Tories talking bollocks about rape, meet Roger Helmer MEP.
In this post, Roger decides to defend Ken Clarke’s comments regarding rape.
Now, Roger has some rather unconventional views, regarding climate change to be a myth and a hatred of the EU, despite being a member of European Parliament. Roger is also very firmly on the right of the Conservative Party, considering Ken Clarke to be a little bit too soft and fluffy to his liking.
Here, then, is his take on rape.
The first is the classic “stranger-rape”, where a masked individual emerges from the bushes, hits his victim over the head with a blunt instrument, drags her into the undergrowth and rapes her, and the leaves her unconscious, careless whether she lives or dies.
The second is “date rape”. Imagine that a woman voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”. The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.
In both cases an offence has been committed, and the perpetrators deserve to be convicted and punished. But whereas in the first case, I’d again be quite happy to hang the guy, I think that most right-thinking people would expect a much lighter sentence in the second case. Rape is always wrong, but not always equally culpable.
There is rather a lot to be angry about in this hundred-odd words. First of all, it becomes apparent that at least part of Roger’s disdain for Ken Clarke is that rapists are not hanged. Secondly, he uses the tired old defence of declaring that all “right-thinking” individuals must agree with him. Thirdly, he repeats the rape culture mantra that rape comes in differing degrees, that some rapes are not “properly rape”.
And then, there is the fact that Roger Helmer MEP believes that all men are rapists.
According to Roger, men are unable to restrain themselves when confronted with a partially-clothed woman in their vicinity and will immediately commit a serious crime because they just can’t help it. I have said it before, and I will say it again: this view is hugely insulting to men.
I have shared a bed with men before. None of them have raped me. I have been near men in a state of undress. None of them have raped me. I have cuddled men. None of them have raped me.
This is because not all men are rapists.
The vast majority of men know that when a person says STOP, that means stop, and that getting into bed with a person does not mean an instant ride on the Shag Express. Most people do not feel this sense of entitlement.
This is because not all men are rapists, despite what Roger Helmer MEP seems to think.
Roger disagrees with this notion:
My two scenarios also give the lie to one of the popular over-simplifications trotted out by the feminist tendency in these cases: “Rape is always about power and control and domination, never about sex”. In the first case, that may well be true. In the second case, it is clearly not true.
Sometimes rape is entirely due to succumbing to the forces of the sexy Jezebel who is right there, according to Roger Helmer MEP. Men are just walking dicks, and if there is a convenient hole nearby, according to Roger Helmer MEP, they have no choice but to throw themselves into it.
All men are rapists if there is a woman nearby, according to Roger Helmer MEP.
What are the implications of this?
Let me make another point which will certainly get me vilified, but which I think is important to make: while in the first case, the blame is squarely on the perpetrator and does not attach to the victim, in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.
Women! Being raped is your fault if you established “reasonable expectations”, such as being in a bed with a person you presumably share a bed with frequently. The poor mite couldn’t help himself.
I have reasonable expectations that politicians should not further rape culture. I have reasonable expectations that politicians should not engage in victim blaming. I have reasonable expectations that politicians should not believe that 50% of the population are rapists waiting to happen.
I am therefore, according to Roger Helmer MEP, thoroughly entitled to violate him in some respect for failing to meet my reasonable expectations.
Fortunately for Roger, I think that line of argument is utter bollocks.