The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Monday, November 21, 2005

1/3 people "blame" woman for rape

A new poll by Amnesty International says that 1/3 of the UK population (England & Wales) think that women are partly to blame for being raped. Only 6% of reported rapes result in conviction, and there are probably over 50,000 rapes each year (approx. 12,000 reported)

The BBC are also leading with this story & quote that"the government must launch a new drive to counteract this sexist 'blame culture"

So why do people think this, and how do we counteract it?

Well, IMHO this is a reasonably new feeling, and has very little to do with the rise of sexual freedom, girl gangs, chavs or a drop in moral standards - all of which I expect to be blamed by the MSM & Politicians looking for a quick soundbite.

I believe it is more to do with the few high profile "date rape" cases that were splashed all over the media a few years ago. These made people think that rape was not the violent, repulsive and socially abhorrant act we had asociated with the word throughout the 20th century, and instead, is a mistake that anyone could make given the right circumstances.

I think this, because although I am a stalwart believer in a womans right to have total control over exactly the same things in their lives as men, and I consider violent rape to be among the worst possible crime to commit & probably the worst one to be a victim of, I am one of those who if polled would probably have said "well, there are times when the womans behaviour is responsible for the rape".

Before you all switch off in disgust, let me give you some examples from my own experience. I guess I have actually been raped twice. When I was fourteen I was taken to a "grown up party". I had some drinks. I had a lot to smoke. I chatted to a nice lad. In the early hours of the morning he asked if I wanted to go for a walk with him in the woods. I agreed. When secluded in the woods he started kissing me. I kissed back. It went further that I was expecting. I said no. He talked nicely to me, and tried again. after a short while I said no again. He tried once more, before nicely agreeing to stop, chatting to me till I felt ready to go home. I am absolutely positive that he felt he had acted the perfect gentleman. He did act exteremely well given the circumstances. It never occured to me that he had done anything wrong - other than believe I understood what "a walk in the woods" meant. But I lost my virginity that day, so some kind of penetration must have happened. I distictly said no.

Was that rape? yes. Was my behaviour partly to blame? Yes. Do I feel like a rape victim? No way. Did he do anything wrong? No (well apart from the fact that I was 14, but he never knew).

The second time was a few years later. It was a classic date-rape. After a party we started making out. I said no, he ignored me. Actually I said no a good few times, although I can't say I fought at all. Afterwards I went home & we studiously avoided ever speaking to each other again.

Was that rape? yes. Was my behaviour partly to blame? Yes - I was virtually naked in bed with him! Do I feel like a rape victim? Not at all. Did he do anything wrong? Yes, he behaved badly, but hardly in the same league as violent rape.

We need to differentiate between the various sexual offences. "date rape" is different from violent rape. under-age sex (counts as rape under UK law) is not the same as paediphillia. Until we use different terms, we will be fighting an impossible battle, because lots of people know of "rapes" like mine, but few have any first hand knowledge of the other type, so they rely on their own interpretation of the words.

PS, this is NOT supposed to be a sob story. these incidents are just part of my life. I did not find it difficult to write about them, or to remember them. Please do not leave consoling or supportive comments, I do not feel in need of either.


  • At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 11:22:00 am, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said…

    I agree with you. I can think of times in my life when I was quite young, when I said no, and the guy was very insistant because I seemed like I was willing to 'make out' up to a certain point..but, in reality I kept saying no...and he must have figured,if he just kept after me, it would happen. If it had happened I would not have considered it RAPE either. Though, I do think there are circumstances where a guy will not take 'no' for an answer and then forces himself on the girl/woman...that would be closer to a rape in my mind. It is a difficult question...But it is not questionable in my mind when it is a classic case of a very violent act where the wonan is attacked, really, and has not been a willing participant in any conceivable manner.
    I hope I'm making myself clear...

    Now, I'm going to go to sleep.(lol)

  • At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 3:12:00 pm, Blogger Dave said…

    Sensible post, and quite brave of you to put it in the public domain. What do you think the readers who know you personally will think of it?

  • At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 3:58:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    Hopefully there are no great revelations there for people who know me - as I said these are not incidents that have any effect on my life now, they are just part of my past. i have never lied about my past to the people that matter to me (or particularly to those that don't), so although the specifics may be new to them, their opinion of me should not be too altered by the knowledge:-)

    It's not getting too many comments though is it?

  • At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 9:35:00 pm, Blogger Yummy London Mummy said…

    same thing happened to me years ago. You can either feel violated or you can shrug your shoulders, think (and say) "what an asshole" and get on with living your life. However, I am also pretty sure that you can't do that with violent rape/ rape carried out by a stranger. So yes, the offence of rape should be categorised.

    And it is interesting that people aren't leaving comments, but then it's a delicate subject with all kinds of PC ramifications. Also I suspect it is one of those subjects where there is a big gulf between what people say and what they really think, as thrown up by the recent survey.

  • At Wednesday, November 23, 2005 2:36:00 pm, Blogger Simon Peter said…

    Thank you for sharing that. It does seem that the word "rape" is greatly overused. There are a whole spectrum of encounters that have been covered with a very broad brushstroke, and it doesn't seem to be helpful.

    Now, I'm fully against forceful behaviour of any sort, not just sexual, by men against women, for the record.

    But, I will say that some women, these days, don't seem to understand that if they walk around in some of the clothes that they choose to wear that their whole wardrobe is shouting "Yes!" Such behaviour does not contribute towards young men thinking that perhaps this one is going to say "no".

  • At Monday, November 28, 2005 7:11:00 pm, Blogger Kyahgirl said…

    I've found whenever I post something really revealing about myself very few comments are made. I think sometimes people are uncertain about the level of intimacy they are after.
    I was interested to read your post because the same thing happened to me when I was a teenager I think i was really stupid to allow myself into that situation. I haven't let it victimize me, I certainly learned from it. As you did obviously .


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