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New rape guidelines - what does it mean for your average perfectly decent man?

(95 Posts)
FamilyAdventure Fri 30-Jan-15 15:28:33

I heard a report on R4 that made me worry for my DSs, currently young teens.

I have always taught them to respect women (everyone) and that sex is best with love. In fact when they were tiny and I taught them that no or stop is to be acted on immediately in play fights, it was with an eye to their relationships when they're older. Now, I absolutely don't believe they will become rapists and I'd like to think they'll only have sex in long-term loving relationships, but that might be an expectation too far...

The expert on the radio was saying that the onus will be on the man to prove he had consent, rather than the woman to prove she didn't, which sounds reasonable, but how is he supposed to do that? What checks does he need to do beforehand?

Also, doesn't it walk all over the premise of innocent until proven guilty if the defendant has to prove his innocence rather prosecution proving guilt?

MephistophelesApprentice Fri 30-Jan-15 15:40:14

Personally, I'm opting for getting a consent video recorded on my phone and uploaded to Google Drive, which will give me a independent time-stamp and a pretty undeniable record. If they're not up for being recorded consenting, they're probably insufficiently enthusiastic for sex and I will decline any further activities.

If I am too drunk to operate my phone, I'm certainly too drunk to consent myself.

And yes, it does ruin the presumption of innocence we have always heretofore relied on and will no doubt be a signal of far worse degeneration of justice in future.

Isitmebut Fri 30-Jan-15 15:54:45

Young men need to increase their checklist.

Condom, get a verbal statement, check phone is on, analyse the exact alcohol content of the vomit, and then if STILL interested, ask politely if they may engage in lite foreplay, as numbered in ‘bases’ on the Amy Farrah Fowler scale (from the aptly named, The Big Bang Theory).

BOFster Fri 30-Jan-15 15:56:01

Frankly, if a man doesn't understand the concept of enthusiastic participation, he is doing sex wrong.

slug Fri 30-Jan-15 15:56:11

Seriously! Imagine actually having to check that that a woman actually wants to have a penis shoved in her. It's political correctness gone mad. The next thing they'll be telling us is women have the right to say what does and does not go in her own body.

It has always been up to the accused man to demonstrate that he had obtained consent. The only difference now is that police forces have been told that this is one of the lines of inquiry they must follow and not just rely on a man's word that she "was up for it Gov" hmm

BOFster Fri 30-Jan-15 16:04:37

This explains it quite nicely.

TheCowThatLaughs Fri 30-Jan-15 16:05:48

If he's a perfectly decent man, then it won't affect him at all, surely, because he won't be raping anyone

mindalina Fri 30-Jan-15 16:12:55

so much hand wringing over this by men it makes me feel a bit ill. I can only presume they are in fact rapists because otherwise as thecow says it doesn't affect them

Pixel Fri 30-Jan-15 16:28:17

It does if some girl sleeps with them, regrets it in the morning and decides she is a victim rather than someone who made a mistake while drunk. Wouldn't be the first time it's happened.

CaptainAnkles Fri 30-Jan-15 16:30:34

There's no right way to say this, is there? Anything I say will sound victim blamey, which is awful. But unless we get into a situation where people do get written or recorded consent, what's to stop anybody saying the next day that they hadn't been a willing participant when they had given every sign and indication that they were happy, enthusiastic and involved, to their partner? But then how would anyone prove that they hadn't coerced the person into signing something? It all sounds so awful.

houseofstark Fri 30-Jan-15 16:37:49

Actually I think the biggest change will be that the man will be more likely to consider whether he has consent or not before he has sex.

And if he can't convince himself of this at the time, he may not proceed. That has to be a good thing.

I don't think this will particularly impact false rape accusations. At the end of the day, either man or woman could lie about what was actually said. Just as they can now.

FamilyAdventure Fri 30-Jan-15 16:40:02

Being an enthusiastic participant doesn't necessarily count as consent under the guidelines though BOFster.

I'd love to believe that it won't affect any man who isn't a rapist, but how would he/we know? If sleeping with a woman who appears to be enjoying herself, doesn't say no and provides the condom isn't deemed to be consent?

I agree that in the vast majority of cases it will have no affect but I'm the mother of boys and it worries me (that's my job.)

My boys are young and not having sex with anyone ATM, but the situation that scares me is one where both parties have had a few drinks, things seem to be going well and one thing leads to another with both parties seemingly enjoying themselves. Neither was incapable but one maybe regrets things in the morning. Would there be any teenage sex without that scenario?!

slug Fri 30-Jan-15 16:41:26

Bollox. Seriously, this idea that we need written consent to avoid being accused of rape is just evidence of men's fears that behaviours that they have got away with for millennia are now actually being questioned.

There are so many myths being bandied about in these discussions, not the least the one about regretting it the next day. I can only assume that people who come up with that one have never actually thought about what is involved in reporting a rape. For an extreme example of just how easy it is, I will point you to the experience of a young woman who went to the Police because to report her handbag stolen and found herself having to change identity multiple times because the friends of the man who it was later proved had raped her were not happy with his bad behaviour being pointed out to the world at large.

Frankly. Any man that wails and moans about this is painting himself as a man to be avoided. Someone who quite frankly hasn't yet got to grips with the concept of women as people who have as much right to enjoy sex as men.

FamilyAdventure Fri 30-Jan-15 16:41:26

House, any decent man will of course believe that he has consent beforehand but how will he prove that he did, should it become necessary afterwards?

slug Fri 30-Jan-15 16:50:01

Here's what you teach your sons

Women are allowed to enjoy sex.
If they are not enjoying it. Stop.
If you can't tell if they are enjoying it. Stop. They'll tell you to keep going if they want.
Sex is not shameful for women.
Don't have sex with a woman then call her a slut because she did something you did as well.
Don't keep moaning and whining until she gives in. You are not entitled to a woman's body.

But most importantly...Women are people too. Treat them in all things the same way you would want to be treated yourself.

It's really very, very simple. Teach your sons that the women they want to sleep with are their equals.

Samcro Fri 30-Jan-15 16:51:25

what happens if both people are drunk?

FamilyAdventure Fri 30-Jan-15 16:53:17

Thanks Slug, that's very much in line with everything I teach/will teach and with the way I expect to be treated by men.

But, the recent guidelines seem to suggest that it's not enough for an woman to appear to be enjoying herself for consent to be assumed.

slug Fri 30-Jan-15 16:56:48

We tell our daughters "don't put yourself in a position where you can be raped by a man" It's victim blamey and wrong. But every woman hears that message in one form or another constantly.

What we really should be saying to boys is "Don't put yourself in a position where you could be mistaken for a rapist" the easiest way to do this, of course is not be a rapist but if that fails, a simple, 'consider the impact of your actions' should suffice.

Until we teach our boys that women's bodies are not there for their unfettered use, women will continue to be raped.

SardineQueen Fri 30-Jan-15 16:57:41

I am confused that people seem to think the police will be questioning men widely on whether they can categorically prove consent in their sexual encounters and immediately arrest them if they cannot.

I had not realised that we were cutting the whole "someone needs to go to the police and report a crime" part of the situation out.

Samcro Fri 30-Jan-15 16:59:02

slug why can't you say both.
surely it is best that both men and women stay safe.

SardineQueen Fri 30-Jan-15 17:02:13

All people should be advised to stay away from iffy situations, not get so wasted that they don't know what the fuck's going on, and listen to their instincts.

There is no need for a sex divide on any of that.

Telling females only, that they must never engage in a wide variety of perfectly normal activities, and if they do and something happens then they've brought it on themselves does nothing to prevent crime and everything to assist rapists.

FamilyAdventure Fri 30-Jan-15 17:04:21

Yes, this all makes sense, but, as with all crime, occasionally false accusations are made

hairylittlegoblin Fri 30-Jan-15 17:04:39

Don't assume consent.

Just ask. It's not difficult.

A man doesn't have to have a written consent form but he does have to demonstrate that he's actually considered the idea that a woman might not consent.

For decent men this is no different to the way they behave currently but a small number of rape apologists are trying to suggest that it is and will infringe their liberties/lead to false accusations of rape/ruin sex forever.

slug Fri 30-Jan-15 17:05:18

Honestly FamilyAdventures, I think you are being disingenuous. When a man (it's usually a man) is arrested for burglary they don't just take his word for it that he had permission to be there do they? They are entitled to ask "What grounds to you have to show that you are entitled to be here? All the new guidelines are saying is that the police have the duty to, instead of taking the man's word for it that the woman was gagging for it, that they have to dig a little deeper and ask what circumstances led him to believe that he had consent.

This idea that girls regret it the morning after and "cry rape" is frankly insulting to rape victims. If your precious boys cannot make the connection between the essential humanity of women and rape statistics then i despair. Stop making excuses for them and make them face up to the consequences of their actions. If they don't rape women they won't be questioned will they? Frankly they have more chance of being raped by a man than having to answer to a false rape accusation by a woman.

SardineQueen Fri 30-Jan-15 17:05:36

Your son is more likely to be raped himself, or actually rape someone else, than be falsely accused of rape.

Probably (hopefully) none of those things will happen.

Does that reassure you at all?

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