The gamut of responses to the NRL rugby sex scandal runs from the outrageous misogynist extreme of “a woman wearing revealing clothes going into a room with footballers is asking for it” to the puritan extreme of “group sex is always rape”.
It would be unfortunate if, in responding to the former with the contempt it deserves, and while expressing in this particular instance sympathy for a person who may have been abused and anger at someone who may have abused her, and seeking that the specific incident in question be investigated appropriately, we found ourselves inadvertently jumping to the latter position for the general principle – denying women who know exactly what they’re doing the right to make up their own minds on what they want, patronisingly asserting that they’re incapable of making such a choice and treating them as overborne idiots by definition if they do.
We’re not, are we?
UPDATE: I might just have to come back to this one – the number of people who don’t grasp that it’s all about consent, and that in any sexual activity consent can be withdrawn AT ANY TIME and that in a situation in which one or more parties may reasonably feel intimidated the other parties need to bend over backwards to compensate for that, to make sure that the withdrawing of consent can be safely and practically communicated – well, the number of people for whom that’s not obvious, in 2009, astounds me.
Looks like there’s a lot more education required.
In the meantime, Sarah at The Voice of Today’s Apathetic Youth has a good post up on the subject.
UPDATE #2: I’ve written two Pure Poison posts on it – one on Andrew Bolt’s creepy dismissal of the issue of consent as a “furphy”, and one on Margie McDonald’s offensive blame the woman effort. And another post here on the fallout.